Mark Mroz, the community relations officer in the 2nd Police District, had some good news and bad news for members of the Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association.
Mroz, who appeared at the group’s monthly meeting last week at an unheated United Methodist Church of the Redeemer, said the 2nd district was part of several successful holiday initiatives.
Donations by officers across the city helped local districts purchase Thanksgiving dinner baskets for the needy. In the 2nd district, 30 families benefited.
Thanks to a $1,000 donation by Target, five families were able to take part in a “Shop with a Cop” spending spree at the department store.
The 2nd and 15th districts teamed to offer a Christmas party to 100 second- and third-graders in local Catholic, private, public and charter schools. The guests of honor included needy children and those who excel in the classroom. The party featured Santa Claus, gifts, a disc jockey, food, drinks, a magician and a balloon artist.
Mroz said planning for next year’s party has gotten off to a good start, as the new Wawa at Tyson Avenue and Roosevelt Boulevard donated $1,000 to the cause.
At the Jan. 12 meeting, civic group members also heard about some rising crime rates.
Mroz said home and commercial burglaries are increasing across the city.
In the last two months, there have been 56 burglaries — including 44 at private residences — in the area bordered by Tyson Avenue north to Rhawn Street and Roosevelt Boulevard west to the Montgomery County line. Many of the crimes have taken place from 4 to 8 p.m. Police are recovering fingerprints in hopes of making arrests.
Mroz recommends that residents install a home alarm system to scare off burglars.
The officer also offered simpler recommendations, such as locking windows and doors and changing the locks when buying a new home.
Also in the last two months, there have been 29 robberies and 33 thefts from autos in the aforementioned boundaries.
Mroz said car doors should be locked, and valuables should not be left on the seats or floor. In cold weather, or any time, he urged motorists to not leave their cars running while they visit a convenience store.
“Your car is worth more than that cup of coffee,” he said.
Mroz called the man who allegedly shot a car-full of teenagers in Juniata an “idiot.”
“We don’t have that type of violence that is going on,” he said, knocking on the wood table in front of him.
The Burholme Community Town Watch and Civic Association’s next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m., at United Methodist Church of the Redeemer, Cottman and Lawndale avenues. ••EndFragment