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. ••