In Bristol Township, the streets were quiet overnight Tuesday, as 10 National Guard troops helped police patrol darkened neighborhoods and watch businesses to thwart burglars.
“We didn’t have any incidents at all,” police Chief James McAndrew said Wednesday. “I’m hoping their presence stopped any possible burglaries, but we’ll never know.”
On the first night of the storm, police responded to about 10 burglaries and attempted burglaries of businesses that were without security lighting and alarms. McAndrew requested the National Guard troops on Tuesday because he feared more burglaries of businesses, plus looting of vacant houses, on the second night.
Four National Guard Humvees patrolled the township from 8 p.m. to about 6 a.m. , and two troops rode with police to serve as “eyes and ears,” McAndrew said. The troops, based at the armory on Southampton Road in Northeast Philadelphia, were not authorized to make arrests, but were directed to alert police of any incidents.
The township was one of the hardest-hit spots in the county, with trees crushing homes and cars, blocking streets and downing power lines. On Tuesday, 20,000 of the 23,000 PECO customers were without electricity. Power was slowly being restored Wednesday, McAndrew said.
“If the power is back on, we won’t use the National Guard” overnight Wednesday, he said. “But if the power is still out, we’ll ask them to come back.”
Because of the darkened streets and the threat of looting, the township instituted a curfew Tuesday, from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. There may have been some curfew violations, but there no incidents, McAndrew said.
The township also asked residents to hold off trick-or-treating for a week, until Nov. 7.