Crime Watch

Multiple shots fired on 5100 block of Catharine; one person wounded (updated)

August 12, 2015

UPDATE (8/13/2015): The shooting stemmed from an argument over a missing dirt bike between the victim, a 23-year-old man who was visiting his girlfriend in the area, and unknown males on the block, according to a police report. After the argument, the man reportedly left and returned with other males who pulled out guns and started shooting at the men the victim was arguing with. The victim was shot in the shoulder and was taken to the hospital where he was listed in stable condition, according to police.

(8/12/2015): Police are investigating a shooting that took place on the 5100 block of Catharine St. around 5 p.m. on Wednesday. Police say the shooting was from two different guns. A total of 17 shots were fired. One person, an unidentified man, was wounded. His wounds are not life-threatening, according to police. The investigation continues.

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Police nab suspects in 48th and Larchwood bus stop robbery

August 11, 2015

Police have arrested three people, two females and one male, in connection with the robbery and assault that took place on Sunday, Aug. 2 at a SEPTA bus stop at 48th and Larchwood. As was reported earlier, a 46-year-old woman was waiting for a bus shortly after 9 a.m. when another unknown woman approached her, grabbed her purse and cut her arm with a box cutter, according to a police report. She then fled in a black 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, which police said was an Enterprise rental car operated by an unknown male.

Two days later, on Aug. 4, police spotted the same car and the male and female suspects in the Wynnefield neighborhood. After searching the male suspect, police found a black and yellow box cutter razor, which matched the description of the weapon used in the Aug. 2 robbery and attack. Police also searched the car and the suspects’ residence located in Wynnefield and found several receipts from purchases made with the victim’s credit cards after the robbery. Three suspects, 35-year-old Maryam Spain, 47-year-old Marvin Saunders, and a third, unidentified female who police say was using the stolen credit cards, were arrested on Monday, Aug. 10.

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Two people assaulted, robbed at bus stops on Sunday morning in separate incidents (updated)

August 2, 2015

UPDATE (8/3/2015): A man and a woman were robbed with the use of weapons and physically assaulted on Sunday morning at bus stops in the area.

A 46-year-old woman sustained cuts to her arm and was robbed at around 9:10 a.m. at 48th and Larchwood, according to police. The woman was waiting for a SEPTA bus when she felt a pull on her purse across her shoulder. When she turned around she saw an unknown female with a yellow box cutter in her hands. She swung at the woman and cut her under her left arm, according to a police report. While pulling on the purse she made her way into the passenger side of a black sedan, which police believe was a rental car. The victim also got into the vehicle continuing struggling over her purse. The vehicle pulled away, and the victim was dragged several feet before she was pushed out, according to police. The car fled northbound on S. 51st Street toward Spruce and was lost.

The first suspect is described as a black female, 25-35 years old, 5’5″, 170-180 lbs, wearing a blue or green shirt, jeans and a purple/white scarf. The scarf was recovered on the scene. The vehicle, a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta, an Enterprise rental car, was operated by a heavily built black male, 35-40 years old, according to a police report. Both suspects were still at large as of Monday, Aug. 3, 10 a.m.  Continue Reading

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Uptick in robberies reported by police, residents

July 31, 2015

crimeResidents and police are reporting an uptick in robberies in recent weeks, which often happens during the summer months. We have included a few reports below of the most recent incidents. Be careful out there.

The following message was posted in the West Philly Local forum on July 27:

“Hey community,
I have been a West Philly resident for ten years without any problems. This past month I was attacked twice by teenagers between 49th and 50th and Locust and Walnut. Please use much caution when walking around at night. Police have reported that this has been an every-night occurrence.”

Police have confirmed that there was a higher number of robberies, including gunpoint robberies, committed by teenagers in the area this month. Police say they have already detained some of the suspects and are working on identifying the others. Here are some of the latest robbery reports:  Continue Reading

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Woman wanted in connection with hit-and-run that killed 4-year-old in Kingsessing turns herself in (updated)

July 29, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-29 at 2.54.05 PM

Shanika Mason in police custody on Wednesday. Screen shot from CBS3 video.

Police say a woman surrendered this morning in connection with the hit-and-run collision in April that killed a 4-year-old boy.

The black Ford Edge that police believe struck Abdul Wilson near the corner of 57th and Florence was recovered the following day, April 15, in a parking lot under Love Park in Center City, according to reports. Since then, the owner of the vehicle has apparently been negotiating with police through an attorney to turn herself in, which she did this morning.

CBS Philly is reporting that the woman is 27-year-old Shanika Mason of Sharon Hill. According to police, Mason works as a dietary aide in Haverford. Police could not confirm if charges have been filed. We will keep you posted.

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Police charge handyman in murder of Jasmine Wright (updated)

July 24, 2015


Jasmine Wright

Police have charged a 56-year-old handyman in the murder of West Philly resident and Drexel University graduate Jasmine Wright.

Police allege that James Harris, who police say has an extensive arrest record, sexually assaulted and strangled Wright, 27, in her apartment near 50th and Locust. Her body was found on July 15, about 24 hours after the murder.

Harris worked in the building but was fired about a week earlier, according to reports. Police say he still had a set of keys to the building and that his fingerprints and DNA were found on the scene.

Wright, who received her master’s degree at Drexel University’s School of Public Health a few weeks ago, was found beaten and strangled last Thursday afternoon in a bedroom of her third floor apartment after her father had tried to reach her by phone and finally asked the property manager to check on her.

Originally from New York City, Wright received her bachelor’s degree at Pennsylvania State University. She had lived in West Philly for about two years while she was attending Drexel’s graduate program. Her neighbors described her as a quiet and sweet girl, who mostly kept to herself. Her friends remember her as a funny and caring woman.

Harris had 31 prior arrests, police said, including sexual assaults. He was also convicted in 1982 for the murder of his own father. He had been in custody since July 19, when he was detained on suspicion of robbery and trespassing for re-entering the building.

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