Wednesday, March 4, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 12:42 PM
Richard and Marge Petrone hope that a renewed push by the FBI will discover what happened to their son Richard Petrone Jr. (inset) and his girlfriend, Danielle Imbo. (David Maialetti/Staff)

On the 10th anniversary of the day Richard Petrone Jr. and his girlfriend Danielle Imbo went missing in South Philly, the FBI today asked the public for tips to help solve the case, saying investigators believe their disappearance was an "orchestrated" crime by more than one person.

The couple - and Petrone's 2001 Dodge Dakota pickup truck - haven't been seen since leaving Abilene's, a bar on South Street where they'd met friends for drinks, a decade ago. Police have investigated theories including that the case was a murder-for-hire, that the couple accidentally drove into the river or otherwise had an accident on their way home to South Jersey, and other scenarios.

FBI Agent Christian Zajac emphasized today that investigators have not ruled out anyone - including Imbo's estranged husband Joseph, who police questioned but didn't charge after learning he'd had words with Petrone before the disappearance. He now lives in South Carolina with the son he had with Imbo.

Dana DiFilippo @ 12:42 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 10:31 PM

Police are hot on the trail of three punks said to be waging a crime spree in West Philly and its surrounding neighborhoods, taking advantage of people walking in the bitter cold.

The trio’s most recent attack was Monday, when they lured a man into a robbery after feigning interest in the paintball gun he was selling on Craigslist, said Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives.

When the seller arrived with the paintball gun on Spring Garden Street near 41st, the trio produced an actual gun, and forced him to hand over his wares, including a laptop and cellphone, Walker said.

Vinny Vella @ 10:31 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Wednesday, February 18, 2015, 1:17 PM

The two Philadelphia police officers involved in December’s shooting death of a Mayfair man during a routine car stop have been cleared by the department of wrongdoing and returned to street duty, the Daily News has learned.

While police Internal Affairs investigators decided the cops violated no departmental policies, the case remains under review by the District Attorney's Office.

Brandon Tate-Brown, 26, died early Dec. 15 after two officers stopped him on Frankford Avenue near Magee, allegedly because Tate-Brown was driving a 2014 Dodge Charger with its headlights off. The officers said Tate-Brown resisted being handcuffed, violently struggled with them and then lunged for a handgun inside his car, prompting one officer to shoot him.

Dana DiFilippo @ 1:17 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Tuesday, February 10, 2015, 6:52 PM
File photo: SEPTA patrons wait to board a train at Jefferson Station, formerly Market East Station, in June. A suspect (inset) is sought in the assault on a woman in a closed-off, secluded area of Jefferson Station.

Police say a savage beating reported Monday at SEPTA's Jefferson Station was a sexual assault committed by an unidentified man.

The incident took place about 1:20 p.m. Monday inside the Regional Rail hub, formerly known as Market East, on 10th Street near Filbert in Chinatown.

A passer-by notified Transit Police that an injured woman was lying on the station’s floor claiming to have been attacked, said Jerri Williams, a spokeswoman for the transit authority.

Vinny Vella @ 6:52 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Sunday, February 8, 2015, 11:23 AM

Robbers targeted a house in the city's Somerton section early this morning after seeing one of the resident's Instagram postings of his valuable goods, police said.

Around 2:30 a.m., three armed, masked men kicked in the front door of a home on Brookshire Terrace near Prospect Street and demanded Rolex watches, jewelry and other items they had seen on a 19-year-old resident's Instagram postings, according to police.

One of the five victims who was inside of the home at the time of the break in was able to hide in the bathroom and call police from his cell phone.

Stephanie Farr @ 11:23 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 5:08 PM

A young man is in custody after opening fire in a crowded Center City park and then cowering inside a nearby store, police said.

Just before 3:30 p.m., shots rang out at the Starr Garden Park on 6th Street near Lombard, police said. Witnesses told investigators that the shooter was with a group of kids at the time, and pulled out a handgun when an argument with another group of kids got heated.

The kid opened fire, but no one was struck, police said.

Vinny Vella @ 5:08 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, February 5, 2015, 3:47 PM

Joe Schulle, the president of the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 22, will hold a news conference at 11 a.m. Friday to address a Fire Department sex scandal that's been investigated by the Inspector General's Office. 

An email announcing the news conference said "some aspects" of the investigation will be discussed, but noted that Local 22 still has not received a "full, non-redacted" copy of a report that the IG's Office supposedly recently delivered to city officials, calling for numerous Fire Department employees to be disciplined. 

The report has not been made public. 

David Gambacorta @ 3:47 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Wednesday, February 4, 2015, 6:50 PM

A man is in custody tonight after allegedly getting into a shootout with an officer in Kensington.

The incident happened about 5:48 p.m., when an officer responding to a report of a person with a gun ran into the shooter on A Street near Somerset, police said.

When the officer got to the scene, he encountered a man matching the description of the suspect and tried to confront him. The man fled, and the officer gave chase.

Vinny Vella @ 6:50 PM  Permalink |
About this blog

Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr, Vinny Vella and Morgan Zalot.

E-mail tips to DiFilippo at and follow her on Twitter here.

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