Woman’s body found on 5100 block of Spruce St

Posted on 20 March 2015 by

UPDATE (9:35 p.m.): The 29-year-old woman was shot to death several weeks ago, but her body wasn’t discovered until this morning, according to police. Several people live in separate bedrooms in the boarding house, according to reports. The woman’s body was found in the first-floor living room under a mattress or blanket, and there was a foul smell in the house, according to police. Police also discovered the crime scene in one of the 3rd floor bedrooms where they believe the shooting took place. The investigation continues.

9:54 a.m.: Police are investigating a homicide on the 5100 block of Spruce Street. They say a woman’s body was found this morning, shortly before 7 a.m., inside a boarding house. Police say the woman lived in the boarding house with her boyfriend, and that she was probably killed a few days ago.


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Multiple car break-in reports on Hazel Avenue, near Cedar Park

Posted on 18 March 2015 by

Here’s a reminder to all not to leave any valuables in your parked car. Several car break-ins have been reported on Hazel Avenue near 51st Street and in the Cedar Park area in the past several days. Some of these reports came from our readers who wanted to alert their neighbors. Here’s one of them:

“Just wanted to inform you that there have been a string of car break-ins along 51st street near Hazel Ave. over the last week. My roommate’s car was broken into the night of 3/13, and a GPS device was stolen from her glove compartment. A few days prior, my downstairs neighbor (whose car was parked on 51st St. near Hazel) found that someone broke into his car and stole the bike in the backseat…”

While we were not able to confirm these two break-ins with the police, we found out that there were other break-ins and thefts from cars on Hazel Avenue recently (Source: on March 7 on the 4900 block of Hazel; on March 8 on the 5100 block; and on March 10 on the 4800 block. A car parked near the corner of 51st St and Larchwood Ave was also broken into on March 10.

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Shooting victim, a LaSalle grad, entrepreneur and, social worker, remains in “very critical” condition

Posted on 09 March 2015 by Mike Lyons


Mary Pitts-Devine. From Linked In.

The 46-year-old woman who was shot eight times Sunday morning by a neighbor who then shot himself remains in “very critical condition” at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, according to police.

Police say that Mary Pitts-Devine had an ongoing dispute with her male neighbor, identified in media reports as 53-year-old Steven Outlaw. They lived in separate apartments at 4530 Spruce Street in a three-story converted twin. Outlaw reportedly lived above Pitts-Devine, an entrepreneur, writer and former social worker.

The dispute culminated in Sunday’s shooting. Police recovered a handgun in Outlaw’s apartment that was registered to him.

Pitts-Devine, a 1997 graduate of LaSalle University, is the CEO and Founder of Prophetic Presentations, an artistic production company that is “speaking to the hearts of mankind via the arts,” according to its website. On the site, she writes that she has “a desire to help those trapped in the social ills of life, such as drug addiction, homelessness, disparity of all kinds, and severe family dysfunction. This burden stemmed from my brokenness I experienced as a child growing up in Foster Care.” On social media platforms, she writes that she is a breast cancer survivor and a kidney transplant recipient.

Neighbors have said that the dispute between her and Outlaw had been ongoing for about two years and that he had accused her of tapping his telephone line.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family of Ms. Pitts-Devine. We’ll update with new information when we get it.

Mike Lyons

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Latest Crime Reports: Police looking for three serial robbers; Burglary arrest

Posted on 19 February 2015 by

Police are looking for three men between 18 and 20 years old who they say have been involved in at least four robberies in West Philly over the last two weeks. The first robbery took place on Feb. 8 near 38th and Baring in Mantua, according to police, when the suspects robbed a pizza delivery man at gunpoint. An undisclosed amount of cash was taken in that robbery. Police say the same three men used a gun to rob a 27-year-old woman near her apartment entrance at 44th and Pine on Feb. 12. They reportedly took the woman’s phone and purse.

The third robbery took place in Powelton Village, near 31st and Hamilton on Sunday, when the men robbed a 20-year-old woman, also at gunpoint, near her apartment, according to police.

The latest robbery happened on Monday, Feb. 16, when the suspects responded to a Craigslist ad by a person who was selling a paintball gun. The seller brought the paintball gun to a location near 41st and Spring Garden where he was robbed at gunpoint by the same three men, according to police. They reportedly took the man’s laptop and cell phone.  Continue Reading

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U.S. Marshals, cops catch the Rite Aid robber

Posted on 23 January 2015 by

Police say that the U.S. Marshals and Philadelphia law enforcement officers have apprehended a 49-year-old man they say robbed several West Philadelphia businesses, including several Rite Aid stores and the McDonald’s at 52nd and Chestnut.

Cartel Wright was arrested at about 2 a.m. on Friday on the 2100 block of College Avenue in North Philadelphia after a struggle with Marshals.

Police say Wright’s crime spree began in late September when he robbed a Rite Aid on City Avenue. Wright is a suspect in the following robberies:

September 30, 2014, at 5:18 a.m., Rite Aid located at 5000 block, City Avenue
• December 18, 2014, at 2:00 a.m., Rite Aid located at 5000 block, City Avenue
• December 18, 2014, at 7:20 p.m., Rite Aid located at 5200 block, Baltimore Avenue
• December 27, 2014, at 5:25 a.m., Rite Aid located at 5000 block, City Avenue
• December 28, 2014, at 9:50 p.m., CVS located at 7500 block, City Avenue
• January 1, 2015, at 4:35 p.m., Family Dollar located at 5800 block, Woodland Avenue
• January 11, 2015, at 3:45 p.m., Rite Aid located at 5440 Lansdowne Avenue. The suspect then carjacks a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser from the parking lot after leaving the Rite Aid. The vehicle was later recovered on the 1400 block of North 56th Street.
• January 11, 2015, 5:25 p.m., McDonald’s located at 7500 City Avenue
• January 12, 2015, at 5:30 a.m., McDonald’s located at 5200 Chestnut Street

Mike Lyons

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Student dies after being stabbed by classmate near 46th and Market (updated)

Posted on 16 January 2015 by

UPDATE (Saturday, 12:18 p.m.): Police say both youths are from near 38th Street and Haverford Avenue. The alleged assailant now faces a homicide charge. Police are not releasing any names because both are juveniles. It is likely, however, that the alleged assailant will be charged in adult court and his name will be released later.

UPDATE (9:42 p.m.): Several media outlets are reporting that the 14-year-old boy died. 6ABC reported that the boy died at 8:55 p.m. at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

UPDATE (7:40 p.m.): Police say a 16-year-old boy, also a West Philly High student, has been arrested and faces aggravated assault and related charges. A confrontation between the two boys reportedly began earlier in the school day in the high school’s cafeteria.

6:24 p.m.: A 14-year-old West Philadelphia High School student was stabbed this afternoon three blocks from the school, according to police. The student was reportedly stabbed in the chest and is listed in critical condition this evening. The stabbing occurred near 46th and Market at around 3:25 p.m. Police are searching for another student, who reportedly ran up behind the victim while he was riding his bike and stabbed him.


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