In the last two weeks, bomb squads responded to the CVS on Aramingo Avenue, and a high-speed FBI car chase ended with three suspects being arrested on Hagert Street in Kensington.
The car chase involving FBI agents, which began on Lehigh Avenue, ended with a car driven by suspects careening around the narrow corner of Moyer Street and spinning out on the 2600 block of Hagert Street in Kensington.
Three suspects were arrested after the high-speed chase, on Thursday, Aug. 22 at about 4 p.m.
“They tried to get into my house,” said Hagert Street resident Bud Dixon, a retired truck driver.
Dixon described how the suspects’ car was rammed by what he believed to be an FBI SUV into vehicles outside O’Brien’s Service Center auto shop at the corner of Hagert and Moyer streets, leaving three cars at the shop damaged. The cars also destroyed a neighbor’s planter on the sidewalk, he said.
Then, the suspects, whom he described as two black men and one Hispanic man, got out and ran on foot – one of them trying to open Dixon’s front door, which was locked.
“They didn’t have guns – they threw their guns away, I heard,” Dixon said.
FBI spokeswoman Carrie Adamowski declined to release the suspects’ names or state what they are charged with.
“Those gentlemen are in Philadelphia police custody,” Adamowski said.
However, the Philadelphia Police Department’s Public Affairs Office had no records of suspects arrested in this incident.
More recently, at about 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26, the Philadelphia Bomb Squad was called in to respond to a phony bomb threat at the CVS pharmacy located at 2400 Aramingo Ave in Kensington, according to police.
According to the police report, an employee received an anonymous phone call from a man who said he had planted a bomb in the pharmacy department of the store.
Officers conducted a walk-through and located an unidentified black gym bag was found in the employee area. The bomb squad arrived at the scene and discovered that the bag contained gym sneakers, according to police. The scene was made safe by 8:50 p.m.
An employee of the CVS on Aramingo Avenue said she was not allowed to discuss the incident.
A manager at the store declined to comment.
But 26th Police District Captain Michael Cram says these crimes were rare occurrences, but not part of a larger trend.
“We’re seeing a slight uptick – but neither one of those incidents are related to it,” Capt. Cram said last week.
Capt. Cram said that a recent spree of construction site robberies in the 26th Police District, with more than 15 such robberies occurring in the last two weeks, led him to issue a public safety warning to residents of the district.
Cram is asking for the public’s aid in identifying illegal activity at construction sites.
“If they see activity off-hours at a construction site, they need to contact us right away,” Cram said. “A lot of people see a truck at a construction site at night, they figure it’s just regular work occurring.”
In 10 incidents, construction sites at new homes on the 1100 block of Hope Street were stripped bare of copper and copper fixtures. In the other five incidents, tools were stolen from construction sites around the intersection of Norris and Amber streets.
Cram said they have no suspects at this time.
“It could be former contractors or construction workers who know the site, it could be burglars,” he said.
He declined to discuss strategic measures the police will be taking to end this uptick in crime.
“We’re working on it,” Cram said.
“What we have here are mostly property crimes. It’s a sign of an up-and-coming neighborhood. People have things here, so other people want to come and take them,” Cram continued.
If you have information regarding a crime, contact the police tip line at 215-686-TIPS (8477), text a tip to PPD TIP (773847) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ••