A group of West Philly residents who patrol their neighborhood from 47th to 49th Streets between Baltimore and Kingsessing will receive a commendation tomorrow for their help in catching a phone thief recently.
Patty Bulack, Charles Hamilton and Bruce Dorpalen, who are active members in the 48th Street Neighborhood Town Watch, will receive commendatory letters from Penn’s Department of Public Safety. All three were crucial in the apprehension of a man wanted in connection with the April 8 knifepoint robbery of a Penn student at 42nd and Spruce. A cell phone was taken in the incident. An arrest warrant was issued for a man that the Town Watch group spotted the day before in their neighborhood. When they spotted him again the following night they alerted police.
Here is a description of their actions from an e-mail posted by Bulack on the group listserv:
Last night Bruce, Charles and I went out on our usual 9 to 10 pm walk through the neighborhood. During that walk, Officer Vallette texted me to tell me that there was a warrant out for the arrest of the young man that we had seen on Saturday because of an investigation involving details of the knife point robbery that pointed directly to him. As we were walking south on 49th St. between Windsor and Springfield, he passed us on the sidewalk going north and Charles knew it was him. After calling 911, we called Officers Olesik and Vallette, and Olesik came and picked up Charles to continue finding him. They did find him on 48th St at Larchwood, with the phone he had taken.
Soon after they apprehended the suspect, Hamilton’s wife went into labor and police drove him to the hospital, where his son was later born.