Pat's Cafe is a tiny bar that sits at Castor Avenue and Arrott Street in Northwood, a small, working-class section of the lower Northeast.
The bar's name sounds instantly familiar for an unfortunate reason: in May 2006, Officer Gary Skerski was murdered when he responded to a robbery at the neighborhood watering hole. An old wreath, a pair of decaying roses and a few small candles still mark the spot outside the bar where Skerski was shot.
About 4:25 a.m. yesterday, two on-duty Philadelphia police officers walked past the old memorial and entered the bar while it was closed, law enforcement sources said. They turned on the TV, opened a beer and made themselves at home for about 40 minutes, sources said. The two cops, who were in uniform, were joined by a third man, whose identity is currently unclear.
Then the unthinkable happened: one of the cops -- in full view of a surveillance camera -- reached into a safe, pulled out several wads of cash and shoved the money into his pants, said a source who viewed the footage. The cops and their companion left a short while later.
A police spokesman confirmed that the incident is being investigated by the Internal Affairs Bureau.
The cops apparently ventured into Pat's Cafe after responding to an alarm that had gone off inside New Vision Auto Detailing and Auto Repairs, which is situated behind the bar, sources said.
(From the archives: Ramsey says better police recruits needed. Click here to read that story.)