Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

With National Guard on patrol in Bristol Twp., no incidents

The troops were called in to thwart burglars while most of the township was waithout electricity for a second night.

With National Guard on patrol in Bristol Twp., no incidents

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

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.      

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About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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