Crime Watch

Thieves break through walls to burglarize multiple businesses near 49th and Chester

May 8, 2017

Police are asking for the public’s assistance to identify two male suspects sought for a series of commercial burglaries on Chester Avenue near 49th Street.

The burglaries took place on April 18 at approximately 4 a.m. when the suspects broke into The Church of God in the World at 4817 Chester Ave. through the rear door and then broke into Unwired Solutions cell phone store at 4821 Chester Avenue through a connecting wall, according to police. After taking several phones from the cell phone store, the suspects broke through another wall to gain access to Jennifer’s Groceries located at 4823 Chester Avenue, according to a police report. Once inside the grocery store the suspects took an unknown amount of cash and lottery tickets and then fled in an unknown direction.  Continue Reading

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Community pressure forces officers who shot unarmed pizza deliveryman out of West Philly

May 2, 2017

Two police officers who shot an unarmed pizza deliveryman in 2014 have been transferred out of West Philly after pressure from neighborhood groups.

Officers Mitchell Farrell and Kevin Hanvey had resumed street patrol after a suspension for shooting Philippe Holland, who was delivering food near 51st and Willows on the evening of April 22, 2014. Farrell and Hanvey were in plain clothes and investigating a robbery in the area when they approached Holland with their guns drawn. Fearing a robbery, Holland ran to his car and tried to drive away. The officers opened fire, hitting Holland in the head and leg. Police regulations prohibit shooting at a moving vehicle. A total of 14 shots were fired, according to investigators.

After a three-year investigation, Hanvey and Farrell were suspended for 25 days and were back on the streets. A joint letter from Cedar Park Neighbors, Cobbs Creek Neighbors, Garden Court Community Association and Walnut Hill Community Association dated April 28 asking the Philadelphia Police Department to fire the two officers prompted the transfer.  Continue Reading

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Maintenance man sentenced to life without parole for 2015 murder of Drexel grad near 50th and Locust

March 30, 2017

             Jasmine Wright was 27.

The maintenance man standing trial for the rape and murder of a woman who lived in the building where he worked was found guilty on Wednesday of first degree murder and other charges and sentenced to life without parole.

James Harris, 56, was found guilty in the July 2015 rape and murder of 27-year-old Jasmine Wright, a Drexel graduate student, at her apartment near 50th and Locust Streets.

Harris had worked in the building where Wright lived, but had been fired a week earlier, according to reports. He still had keys to the building when Wright was murdered. Police said his DNA and fingerprints were found at the scene.  Continue Reading

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Victims held at gunpoint during home invasion, robbery near 48th and Baltimore

March 28, 2017

Police are investigating a home invasion and gunpoint robbery that took place early Friday morning on the 800 block of South 48th Street.

An 18-year-old male, reportedly a homestay student, was entering the residence at approximately 2:30 a.m. when he was approached from behind by three unknown young males. One of them pointed a gun at him, and then the men forced their way into the property, according to police.

Once inside, the men put the 18-year-old and two other people – reportedly the property owners – on the floor and robbed them. They took the 18-year-old victim’s wallet, cash, a debit card and cell phone. They also made the property owners open a safe, located on the second floor, and took $1,500 from it, according to a police report.  Continue Reading

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Two sought in murder of West Philly community organizer Winnie Harris

March 24, 2017

Police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying two “persons of interest” wanted for questioning in connection with last month’s murder of longtime Powelton resident, community activist and green space advocate Winnie Harris, 65. Police have also released a video that shows the two people walking near Harris’ house (one of them appears to be holding a gun):

Harris, Executive Director of UC Green, was found shot to death inside her house on the 300 block of North Holly Street in West Powelton on February 3. According to a more recent police report, she had multiple gunshot wounds (initially it was reported that she was shot once in the abdomen). Harris was found in a second-floor bedroom. She lived alone in her house.

No arrests have been made.  Continue Reading

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Armed suspect sought in two West Philly food truck robberies

March 16, 2017

                                       Click to enlarge.

The Philadelphia Police Department has released surveillance video and is asking for the public’s assistance in identifying an armed suspect who they believe robbed two food trucks in the area on Monday.

The first robbery took place at approximately 6:30 p.m. when an unknown male entered the Halal food truck parked near the corner of 45th and Walnut Streets, armed with a black handgun, and demanded money. He took $500 and fled north on 45th Street toward Sansom. Surveillance video shows the suspect getting out of the passenger side and then getting back into a black sedan parked near the corner of 45th and Sansom.  Continue Reading

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