Crime Watch

Local business owner attacked in attempted robbery at 49th and Baltimore

Posted on 26 June 2015

The owner of a Baltimore Avenue business was attacked overnight in an attempted gunpoint robbery, according to police. The attack took place around 12:30 a.m. on Friday when 65-year-old Thomas Lee, owner of One Stop Fresh Deli at the corner of 49th and Baltimore, was taking out the trash behind the store and was approached by an unknown young male who pointed a gun at his head and demanded money.

The man also tried to push his way into the back door of the store, according to a police report, but Lee resisted and tried to fight him off. A struggle ensued with both men rolling on the ground, which drew attention from passersby, according to police. The attacker fled without taking anything. Lee sustained minor injuries in the attack, police said. The description of the suspect is very vague.  Continue Reading

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Woman robbed, pistol-whipped at 44th and Baltimore

Posted on 16 June 2015

UPDATE (11:20 a.m.): An 18-year-old woman was robbed at gunpoint and pistol-whipped early Tuesday morning near 44th and Baltimore, according to police and reader reports. The robbery took place around 2:15 a.m. This report came from one of our readers, a close friend of the victim:

“…A friend of ours… was robbed at gun point around 2 a.m. this morning at 44th and [Baltimore]. She was with a female friend in Clark Park after having finished a shift at a local restaurant when two males approached her and demanded her bag. She resisted and one of the males “pistol whipped” her across her left arm, forcefully taking the bag. She chased the male who took her bag north on 44th st. [to 44th and Larchwood], screaming as she went, which woke my wife and I from our sleep. After the male got into a silver vehicle she came to our door, understandably upset and asking for help. We called local police who appeared to have already been notified by someone else in the community and they eventually took her to the station at 55th and Pine to make a statement to detectives.”

Police said that the male with the gun struck the victim about five times on her left arm during the struggle for her bag. The victim sustained lumps and bruises to the arm and was taken to the hospital for treatment, according to police.

Here’s the map of robbery reports in West Philly for the past two weeks (June 2-16, 2015). Note: the robbery described in this post is not included in the map.

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Car vandalized near 50th and Hazel

Posted on 11 June 2015

A reader reports that her car was vandalized earlier today near 50th and Hazel. Someone threw a broken piece of cement through the windshield (see photo below) when the car was parked on 50th Street between Cedar and Hazel. The time of the incident is unknown. Witnesses are asked to contact the police. Police said they will also check surveillance cameras in the area.


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57-year-old man arrested during burglary on 4000 block of Spruce; plainclothes police officer injured

Posted on 27 May 2015

Plainclothes police officers arrested a 57-year-old male during a burglary on the 4000 block of Spruce Street on Tuesday. The buildings on this block are mainly used for off-campus student housing. The man was caught inside a three-story twin house shortly after 2 p.m. when he exited an apartment with a bag filled with stolen items, including a $1000 Mac Book laptop, according to police. A plainclothes police officer was injured during a struggle which ensued when he and another officer tried to detain the suspect. The injured officer was taken to the hospital and treated for a head injury and a broken hand.

Plainclothes police observed the suspect earlier that day when he was first sitting on the steps of one of the buildings and then was walking up and down the block, according to a police report. The officers matched the male’s appearance to an earlier crime alert in the area. When the man entered one of the buildings, the officers followed him and heard some banging noise coming from the second floor. When the officers went to investigate they noticed that the door of one of the apartments was damaged, and then they observed the suspect exiting the apartment with a bag in his hand. The suspect dropped the bag and ran a few feet down the hallway but then turned back and punched one of the officers, according to police. The suspect was arrested after a short struggle.

Police say that this man is also suspected in other burglaries in the area. On Tuesday, a police source said that burglaries were a concern right now.

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Latest robbery reports; burglaries “definitely an issue,” say police

Posted on 26 May 2015

Police have released some details on a few robberies that took place in the area last week.

Two teenagers were arrested for an attempted mid-day robbery on May 20 on the 4200 block of Pine Street. The incident happened at around 2 p.m. when the suspects, 16 and 18 years old, walked by a 25-year-old man, then stopped and attempted to rob him. The man resisted and the suspects ran off, according to police. They were caught a few blocks away. No injuries were reported.

A gunpoint robbery took place on May 22 at around 11 p.m. on the 4900 block of Spruce Street. Police say a young man ran from behind a 26-year-old woman, who was on her way home from work, and cut her off. He then pointed a small black gun with two barrels at her and demanded her bag. He also took the woman’s phone from her pants pocket. After robbing the woman the man and another male who was on a bike fled north on 49th Street, according to police. The woman wasn’t injured.

Also on May 22, a 19-year-old male was arrested at 52nd and Kingsessing after robbing a 22-year-old woman. The robbery took place shortly after 10 p.m. on the 4600 block of Chester Avenue when the suspect approached the woman and robbed her of her pocketbook which contained several items. The man fled the scene on a bike. Police recovered the victim’s phone.

There have also been several burglaries in the area in the last two weeks, and a police source says that burglaries “are definitely an issue right now.” We’re trying to get more information. See the map below (source: for the reports of robberies and burglaries from May 12 to May 26, 2015.



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Man posing as police robs a woman at 52nd and Cedar (video)

Posted on 21 April 2015

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating two men involved in a robbery that took place on Friday, April 17, near 52nd Street and Cedar Avenue. Police also released surveillance video that shows the robbery and  one of the suspects (see below).

The robbery happened at around 7:25 p.m. when an unknown male displaying a badge approached a 36-year-old woman while she was walking in the area of 52nd and Cedar. He directed the woman to put her bag on the ground, according to police. After the woman placed her bag on the ground the man grabbed the bag and fled in a vehicle waiting for him on the street. The vehicle is described as a newer model dark colored Nissan Altima.

Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to contact the Southwest Detective Division at 215-686-3183/3184 or call 911 if you see them. More information about this robbery is available on the Philly Police Blog.


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