Northeast Times

Shootings are down in the 15th district

Capt. John Mc­Clo­s­key, the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict com­mand­er, said shoot­ings in the dis­trict, the city’s largest and busiest, are down 50 per­cent over last year.

But the dark side of the dis­trict’s stats, he told mem­bers of the 15th Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil, is that prop­erty crimes are up.

In par­tic­u­lar, there re­cently have been 72 auto break-ins, many in the dis­trict’s north­ern end. There have been five ar­rests, the cap­tain said dur­ing the PDAC’s Aug. 26 meet­ing at the May­fair Com­munity Cen­ter.

In 39 of the break-ins, however, the cars in­volved were un­locked or their win­dows were down, Mc­Clo­s­key said.

For years, po­lice from all of North­east Phil­adelphia’s four dis­tricts have ad­vised car own­ers to not only lock their cars — even if they’re in their own drive­ways — but to not leave any­thing like phones, laptops, purses or even small amounts of change vis­ible to any­one who might be passing.

This is a city, cops have re­minded res­id­ents, and car break-ins are crimes of op­por­tun­it­ies, so don’t cre­ate any op­por­tun­it­ies.

Burg­lars don’t keep what they steal for long, the cap­tain said, adding po­lice have been try­ing to track down where they turn stolen goods in­to cash. He said of­ficers have been look­ing at pawn shops and their re­cords, or, in some cases, lack of re­cords.

As the meet­ing opened last week, patrol­men Sean Quinn and Robert Bakos were honored as the dis­trict’s Of­ficers of the Month for Ju­ly for mak­ing 17 ar­rests that month.

They also got five fire­arms off the Lower North­east’s streets, Mc­Clo­s­key said.

Dis­trict cops and PDAC mem­bers will be try­ing to get even more guns off the streets this week­end with a gun buy­back at a loc­al church.

Any­one who brings in a gun from 10 a.m. to noon at Holy In­no­cents Church, Tyson and Tor­res­dale av­en­ues, will re­ceive a $50 gift card for a loc­al su­per­mar­ket.

Shar­on Krause, the dis­trict’s com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer, said guns in all con­di­tions will be ac­cep­ted but they must be real guns, not toy guns or BB guns. They also should not be loaded, she said.

“No ques­tions asked,” said Mike Thaete, PDAC pres­id­ent.

However, the guns later are ex­amined by a de­tect­ive to see if any were stolen or used in crimes, Krause said. Those that are not are melted down.

Thaete said the PDAC has col­lec­ted from 10 to 40 guns dur­ing past buy­backs. For more in­form­a­tion, call the dis­trict at 215-686-3150 or 51 and ask for Krause. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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