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Armed suspect sought in two West Philly food truck robberies

Posted on 16 March 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

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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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Neighbor wakes up to burglary in progress at Penn Café

Posted on 01 March 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

Penn Café, located on the 4900 block of Catharine Street in Cedar Park, was burglarized on early Tuesday morning, at approximately 3:40 a.m., according to police. A neighbor, who lives on the second floor of the building, woke up from a loud banging sound coming from the cafe on the first floor. The neighbor went downstairs and saw an unknown male inside the cafe who immediately fled through the rear door, according to police.

The suspect got away with $160 from the cash register. The ATM was also damaged. Police say the suspect got into the cafe by forced opening the rear door.

Police couldn’t retrieve any surveillance video; the business has cameras, but they were not turned on that night.

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West Philly High student acquitted of classmate’s murder

Posted on 23 February 2017 by Mike Lyons

A former West Philly High School student was found not guilty on Wednesday of the murder of a classmate near the 46th Street El stop in January 2015.

Xavier Beemon, who was 14 at the time, admitted to stabbing Nafis O’Neal, also 14, with a pocketknife during an after-school altercation, but said it was self defense. A jury agreed and after seven hours of deliberation acquitted Beemon on all charges, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer

Beemon was considerably smaller than O’Neal, who was a popular basketball and football player, according to testimony. Beemon, who moved to West Philly from Alabama in 2011, said he was so fearful of life in Philadelphia that he began hiding a pocketknife near school that he would carry home for protection. O’Neal approached Beemon after school and a scuffle ensued. Beemon said he swung the knife around and stabbed O’Neal once in the chest.

O’Neal was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I didn’t aim at his chest,” The Inquirer reported Beemon saying during testimony. “I just swung and it happened I hit his chest.”

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Longtime Powelton resident and green space advocate Winnie Harris, 65, found shot to death

Posted on 06 February 2017 by Mike Lyons

The last time we spoke with Winnie Harris was last summer, when she was rallying support for the Holly Street Neighbors Community Garden. The garden, built on a vacant lot, was just down the street from her Holly Street home in West Powelton, where she had lived for 40 years. Gardens, trees and keeping this part of West Philadelphia green was her passion and, as one of the driving forces behind UC Green, her occupation.

Harris, 65, was found dead in her home on the 300 block of North Holly Street late Friday with a single gunshot wound in the abdomen. No arrests have been made, and the police say the motive is unclear. Neighbors on her block noticed Friday that Harris’s second floor window was open. Police found her in a second floor bedroom. Harris lived alone in the house.  Continue Reading

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High number of gunpoint robberies reported in University City; UCD issues special crime alert

Posted on 31 January 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

The University City District has issued a special crime alert for the area residents due to a high number of armed robberies reported in the western edge of the neighborhood in the past 10 days. Ten robberies with a gun have been reported since Saturday, Jan. 21, mostly occurring between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. in the areas between Chester Avenue and Pine Street and 47th and 49th.

Here are dates, times, locations and some more details for robberies reported in the past week (via Spot Crime):

− Jan. 27, 8:28 p.m. – 4800 block of Sansom St.
− Jan. 27, 9:06 p.m. – 800 block of S. 49th St.
− Jan. 28, 8:14 a.m. – 900 block of S. 46th St.
− Jan. 28, 9:11 p.m. – S. 49th St. and Springfield Ave. A wallet, iPhone, and headphones were taken in this robbery. Suspects are described as three black males 18-21 years old, wearing jackets and jeans.  Continue Reading

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Man dies after being shot near 46th and Walnut; more shooting reports in West Philadelphia

Posted on 23 January 2017 by WestPhillyLocal.com

A 35-year-old man died after being shot outside of a bar at 46th and Walnut, according to police. The man was found unresponsive with a gunshot wound shortly before 2 a.m. on Monday in South Philadelphia. His friends drove him to a relative’s home while he was still alive not realizing he had been shot, according to a report by 6ABC News. The victim was taken to Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 2:10 a.m. Police believe the man was shot somewhere near the bar at 46th and Walnut.

So far there have been no arrests and there are no suspects. The investigation continues.

Unfortunately, this was the third shooting in the area in less than a week. One resulted in another fatality.

A 38-year-old man was shot on the 5100 block of Irving Street on Tuesday, Jan. 17. He was found unresponsive on the sidewalk at about 6:30 p.m. by two police officers who were in the area and heard the gunshots. The victim was shot twice, in the head and neck. He was transported to Penn-Presbyterian medical Center by police and was listed in extremely critical condition. He died of his wounds on Wednesday, according to reports.  Continue Reading

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