National Guard on patrol in Bristol Twp.

Blog Image 982908 - Reed
National Guard troops assemble at Bristol Township police headquarters Tuesday night before hitting the streets to thwart burglars. (Bill Reed/Staff)

Ten Pennsylvania National Guard troops took to the streets of Bristol Township at 8 p.m. Tuesday, coinciding with a new curfew to thwart burglars in the darkened community.

Eight of the troops rode in Humvees, and two others rode with police “to be our eyes and ears,” Chief James McAndrew said.

On the first night of the storm, burglars “were hitting businesses from 3 a.m. until it got bright,” he said. “They didn't have to worry about [security] lights or alarms."

The chief feared that burglars also would try to break into uninhabited houses on the second night of darkness.

"These knuckleheads are going to be in there for the
copper," he said.

Nearly 20,000 of the township's 23,000 PECO customers were without electricity. The township remained under a state of emergency, with the nightly curfews running from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until power is restored.

To help those residents and others in the hard-hit Lower Bucks area, the Amercan Red Cross opened a third shelter Tuesday night at the James J.A. Gallagher Community Center/Senior Center, at the municipal complex at 2501 Bath Road.

The Red Cross also had shelters at Council Rock North High School in Newtown and Palisades High School in Kintersville.