Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

At least it’s not Camden.

Or so seems to be the reaction to the latest FBI crime statistics release which very clearly puts Philadelphia in a negative light at the top of the murder list for America’s largest cities. By a longshot. What to do when the big bad FBI picks on your major sore point flaw on a national very public scale? Pick on your smaller, weaker neighbor. They’re already part of New Jersey, they’ll be accustomed to insults and mocking.

DUI court coming soon

The number of DUI arrests in Philly have gone up significantly over the last few years. So much so that the Lynne Abraham’s office (she’s the district attorney ’round these parts) has been working with the courts’ officials to put together a DUI court, similar to the already-existing gun court, drug court and Eagles court. So, as long as no one was seriously hurt in the event that led to a DUI, if you get one, you’ll be going to your very own court.

(I don’t mean to make light of driving while under the influence, I was just overwhelmed by the ridiculousness of pouring money into the creation of a special court, when wouldn’t the city be better served to pour money into prevention? But I guess that’s just not how we do things around here).

Special DUI Court To Debut In Philadelphia [KYW]

Local School Shooting Tragedy Averted

In the aftermath of the terrible tragedy at Virginia Tech, police today arrested a 15 year old female student and a 17 year old male drop out who were making their way towards Lincoln High School with a gun. Evidently a verbal altercation took place in the morning and rumors started swirling around that the female was going to return with a weapon. The police were notified and the two were picked up this afternoon with a loaded .45 caliber gun about a block and a half away from the school. Both teens were charged with illegal possession of a firearm, the 15 year old could also face expulsion in addition to her criminal charges. Thankfully this potential tragedy was averted.

When All You Really Want is to See Was a Movie

Last night a gunman walked into the AMC movie theater at Franklin Mills mall and opened fire. According the NBC 10, no one was injured. The commotion apparently spilled out into the parking lot. Police found a weapon outside the movie theater in the bushes. So, when all you really want is to enjoy a move and some popcorn, you may be disturbed by a gunman who decides he wants to start shooting at the snack counter. Well, that’s another movie theater that I won’t be visiting any time soon.

Roaring Past 100…with three-quarters of the year to go

One of the cover stories in this morning’s Inquirer was about a West Philly homicide that marked the city’s 100th murder for 2007. Unfortunately, by the time that paper was delivered to our doorstep, it was already out of date.

At least Philadelphia remains safe from renegade street performers. *

(Hey, Marisa, can I safely assume Raina didn’t get arrested for illegally wielding a guitar in public?)

* Yes, that was my sarcastic voice.

“No, this is Afghanistan.”

99 murders so far this year, so the cops must be very busy trying to fight violent crime, right? As I’ve noted here before, response time to a 911 call can take as long as 3-4 hours. My goodness, then what would be so terrible as to warrant an immediate police response?


Jill Porter’s column, A night in jail, for a song, is a must read. At first it seems a simple overreaction, a young man from a local band is singing in Rittenhouse Square, under the impression that the noise curfew is 10:00 PM. After all, his band played in the park last summer until 4:00 AM without incident. This time he ended up spending the night in jail. The disturbing part is how the arresting officer Greg Wilkinson and the department handled the situation.

Ex-Phillies Pitcher Sentenced to 14 Years

Ex-Phillies pitcher Ugueth Urbina was sentenced to 14 years in prison for the attempted murder of five workers on his family’s ranch in Venezuela. I don’t know if he was involved or not but his story has more holes in it than Dunkin Donuts has on Monday mornings.

Urbina claimed that he arrived at his family ranch, confronted some lazy workers who were using the pool and then went to sleep. Sometime after he went to sleep a gang of men attacked these same lazy workers with machetes and gasoline. Somehow they escaped and named Urbina as one of the assailants.

Not to make light of the situation at hand here but how did the accusers escape? I mean I’ve watched Friday the 13th and Jason Vorhees is slower than shit and he still manages to kill everyone with just the machete. These guys escaped from a gang of machete wielding loonies who also happened to be pouring gasoline on them. I’m not buying it. But neither am I buying that Urbina had nothing to do with the incident either.

Route 33 Shooting

Everyone should know by now that I’m a “hood dweller.” Well, on my way to a friends house the other day, I had the opportunity to be held at the same red light where the bus shooting occurred. There were police cars everywhere and all I could think was I’m going to see this on the news tonight. I ride that bus all the time to and from center city. We definately need to be more creative in our approach to curb crime in this city. “The proof is in the puddin,” as my mother would say.

John’s Fed Up With Crime

This isn’t really timely as I saw it last night but it is still making me laugh today thinking about it. Fox 29 ran a little promo for their 10 O’clock news program towards the end of the comedy ‘Till Death. The promo was to highlight the current situation on crime in the city and how the District Attorney doesn’t think John Street is doing enough but that’s not how I took it.

The shot opens and the anchor standing in the studio shoots off the line, “Mayor Street says he’s fed up with crime but the District Attorney says that just isn’t enough.”. While the statement itself isn’t particularly amusing the image I had in my head was. It was like something out of a political cartoon that you would see in the editorial section.

Check Fraud Scheme

While this isn’t really a local piece and more of a national/worldwide piece I still wanted to bring some attention to the issue. Recently there has been an increase in check fraud schemes targeting online auction sites, e-mail and even some snail mail users. While there are many iterations of the scheme they all seem to follow the same basic formula that is shown in the e-mail shown after the jump. Basically the initiator of the fraud sends you a check (or will send you a check) for significantly more than you need and requests a few things.

1. That you cash the check right away. Not deposit the check, cash it.

2. That you leave the bank where you just cashed the check and Western Union the remaining money right away.

In some cases, not involving eBay or the likes, the perpetrator will advise you that they are going to send you a large sum of money for doing this (most likely because you won some sort of bogus prize) or in cases of online auctions they request that you contact DHL with their account number and ship your item to them. What happens in both cases is that you get burned. Not just by the schemer but also by your bank who will be none to happy when they discover (most likely in a few days time) that the check you cashed is bad.

You would be surprised how many people actually fall for this scheme, so don’t let it be you. Read over the e-mail and if you do get one, contact your local law enforcement or your bank, who will put you in touch with fraud investigators. Also contact your e-mail provider and let them know that you are being phished.

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