Crime Watch

Convenience store on 45th near Walnut robbed at gunpoint, shots fired at owner

May 23, 2016

A gunpoint robbery of a business was reported over the weekend, a third commercial robbery in the area in the past week. A convenience store on S. 45th Street between Locust and Walnut, Philly Halal, was robbed on Saturday night, and shots were fired at the owner outside of the store when he tried to pursue the robber, according to police.

The business owner told police that an unknown male wearing a mask and armed with a handgun entered the store at 9 p.m. on Saturday and ordered the owner to get on the ground. He then went through the store and took phones, jewelry and cash, along with the owner’s wallet. Police say that the total of stolen goods exceeds $9,000.

After the robber left the store, the owner ran after him on foot north on 45th Street and then west on Walnut, where the suspect fired three shots. No injuries were reported.  Continue Reading

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Suspect sought after Chestnut St. restaurant robbery at gunpoint

May 20, 2016

Police are looking for a male suspect who they say robbed a local restaurant at gunpoint on Sunday, May 15. The robbery took place shortly after midnight on Sunday when an unknown man, wearing a mask and armed with a handgun, entered the Falafel restaurant on the 4400 block of Chestnut and demanded money and phones from people inside. Police say four people were robbed inside the restaurant.

After taking cash and iPhones from the victims the suspect, described as a tall (6 feet 4 inches) black male wearing a blue jacket, gray pants and a black mask, fled toward Market Street. No one was injured in the robbery, according to police.

One cell phone was tracked by the victims to 400 Busti St. in the main driveway, however the suspect or phones were not located.  Continue Reading

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CVS thief pulls a gun on store manager when confronted at the door (updated with video)

May 18, 2016

UPDATE (5/20/2016): Police released surveillance video from the CVS store where the robbery took place:

(5/18/2016, 17:17 p.m.): Police are looking for the man who they say stole some items at CVS at 43rd and Locust and then pulled a gun at the store manager when he tried to stop him at the entrance door. The incident, which is classified as an armed robbery, happened on Sunday night, shortly after 8 p.m.

The manager told police that he had observed the suspect placing merchandise into a black drawstring bag, and then confronted him at the entrance door and tried to retrieve the items. The suspect then pulled out a small black handgun. After seeing the gun the manager backed off and the suspect fled the store on foot, according to police. The manager followed the suspect on Locust St. toward 44th. The suspect turned south on 44th Street and walked away. Police say the robber took a hair straightener and some other unknown merchandise from the store.  Continue Reading

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Bicyclist critically injured after hit-and-run at 52nd and Spruce

May 10, 2016

Police are searching for a driver of a white or silver vehicle involved in a hit-and-run accident near 52nd and Spruce that left a bicyclist critically injured. Police say that the crash happened at around 2:20 a.m. on Tuesday. The victim, a 46-year-old man, was thrown off his bike after the impact with the vehicle and sustained head and body injuries. He was listed in critical but stable condition at the hospital where he was rushed after the incident. The vehicle that struck the man never stopped, according to police.

Police say there were no witnesses to this crash. They’re currently reviewing surveillance videos from the area.

This is the second hit-and-run accident involving bicyclists in West Philadelphia in the past month. Last month, a 27-year-old man died from his injuries after a hit-and-run crash near 45th and Market. The driver who struck him still hasn’t been found.

On Wednesday, May 18, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is organizing a Ride of Silence to commemorate Philadelphia-area cyclists killed in collisions with motor vehicles.

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Woman abducted, assaulted for 11 hours on Saturday, escapes near 57th and Larchwood (updated)

April 24, 2016

UPDATE: Police are now saying that the 20-year-old woman who was abducted and sexually assaulted in an 11-hour ordeal on Saturday, knew her attacker. No other details are available at this time.

Police are looking for a man who they believe abducted and sexually assaulted a young woman early Saturday morning and held her 11 hours before she escaped near 57th and Larchwood.

The 20-year-old woman was forced into a black vehicle at gunpoint at about 4 a.m. near 49th and Lancaster. The vehicle had tinted windows and a garbage bag over the driver’s side rear window, she told police. She escaped from the vehicle at about 3 p.m. on Saturday near 57th and Larchwood, police said.

Her abductor was described as a black male, about 23 years old, with dreadlocks and a long beard.


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27-year-old cyclist injured in weekend hit-and-run dies

April 19, 2016

Jamal Morris

Jamal Morris, 27. Photo from Facebook.

A 27-year-old man who was struck by a motorist in a hit and run collision near 45th and Market early Saturday morning has died, according to police.

Jamal Morris, a 2011 Drexel graduate who lived near 53rd and Market, was pronounced dead at about 10 a.m. Monday morning. Police found him unresponsive along the street at about 3:45 a.m. on Saturday and he was taken to Presbyterian Hospital, where he remained in extremely critical condition through the weekend.

Police say that the damage to his bike suggests he had been struck by a vehicle. Police have made no arrests and, so far, have no suspects.

Morris was originally from Warwick, New York and graduated from Drexel with a degree in mechanical engineering, according to his social media profiles. He worked for the international engineering firm Amec Foster Wheeler.

Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call 215-685-3180 or 911.

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