Wednesday, October 7, 2015

POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2015, 2:49 PM
Police are seeking these two suspects in the theft of a scooter.

Lookouts use all sorts of props to look innocent as they stand guard while an accomplice commits a crime - hats, sunglasses or even just a studied air of nonchalance.

One brazen bandit used a baby when he acted as a lookout Friday while a friend stole someone's scooter in Sharswood.

The incident happened at 11:30 a.m. Friday on Ridge Avenue near College Avenue, just off Girard College's campus, police said. One thief approached a scooter and broke the lock securing it, while another suspect, with a baby in his arms, acted as lookout. Once the scooter thief walked the vehicle away down the sidewalk, the lookout hopped onto a bicycle - baby still in his arms - and pedaled off, according to footage captured on a nearby home's security system.

Dana DiFilippo @ 2:49 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2015, 11:21 AM
Tamaron Jones, accused in stabbing

Police have arrested a Kingsessing man for allegedly stabbing a coworker Friday afternoon in a truck outside the Herr's offices in Southwest Philadelphia.

Tamaron Jones, 21, of Paxon Street near Kingsessing Avenue, was charged with aggravated assault, possessing an instrument of crime, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person for allegedly using a black kitchen knife to stab a 23-year-old man repeatedly in a Herr's truck at the snack factory's city headquarters on Brewster Avenue near 76th Street, police said.

The victim, a Herr's employee who was able to escape the truck, told police he'd had no prior arguments or disagreements with Jones, a temporary employee who had been assigned to Herr's about two weeks ago. The victim was treated at Penn-Presbyterian Hospital, where doctors had to stitch up wounds to his right eye, his right arm, the back of his head, his stomach and his leg, police said.

Dana DiFilippo @ 11:21 AM  Permalink |
POSTED: Monday, September 21, 2015, 10:56 AM

Police have identified the victims of three unrelated weekend murders.

In the most recent case, LaBrian Dale-Parker, 34, of Fredericksburg, Va., died at Einstein Medical Center about 6:45 p.m. last night after a gun battle erupted a half hour earlier at the Tangeray Tavern, a popular bar on Pratt Street near Godfrey Avenue in Summerdale. Three other men, ages 53, 42 and 34, were also hit by bullets, police said. The eldest remains in critical condition at Aria Health's Torresdale campus; the youngest man, who was shot in the right thigh, is in stable condition at Lankenau Hospital; and the 42-year-old remains in critical condition at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

An argument sparked the gunfire, but police reported no suspects. Police told reporters yesterday that they were probing whether a dispute over the Eagles-Cowboys game triggered the gun battle. Investigators also suspected members of the notorious Wheels of Soul motorcycle gang were involved; witnesses reported as many as 15 motorcycles fled the scene after shots rang out.

Dana DiFilippo @ 10:56 AM  Permalink |
POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2015, 9:57 PM
Janet Powell Dailey is accused of illegally storing three bodies inside a garage she owns in North Philly. (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ/Staff Photographer)

The state Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs has filed formal disciplinary action against three funeral directors embroiled in scandals last month.

Janet Powell Dailey, John M. Price and Blair Hawkins were each served with the orders Thursday, to which they have 30 days to respond or face punitive measures without a hearing, including the revocation of their professional licenses.

A spokeswoman for the Department of State said the filings represent a more serious step than the injunctions filed Wednesday against the three funeral directors. Yesterday’s legal action expedites the state’s review of the allegations against the trio.

Vinny Vella @ 9:57 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Thursday, September 17, 2015, 2:29 PM

Let's hope this isn't the way we treat the actual pope when he comes to town next week.

The good people over at Pop-Up Pope, who've been drumming up excitement about Pope Francis' visit for months using a life-size cardboard cutout of the holy man they take around town, told me about a disturbing incident they experienced at LOVE Park yesterday.

While Christa Scalies was holding the papal cutout up and talking to Philly Jesus, who calls LOVE Park his home base, a young skateboarder came out of nowhere and tackled the Pop-Up Pope to the ground. Then he laughed about.

Stephanie Farr @ 2:29 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 2:31 PM
Shazim Uppal (left) and Benjamin Rauf.

Police arrested a New York man in last month's murder in Delaware of a Temple University law graduate.

Shazim Uppal, 27, of Hockessin, Del., was found dead about 7 p.m. Aug. 24  in a car, which was parked in a Hockessin nursing home parking lot near his home. Genesis Healthcare workers told police the car, Uppal's black Audi sedan, had been there since the previous day. At the time, New Castle County police said they'd found a “substantial amount” of marijuana inside and believed the murder was not random.

Today, police said they arrested Benjamin Rauf, 25, of Westerlo, N.Y., saying that Rauf shot Uppal several times in the chest during a suspected robbery and drug deal. The men knew each other from Temple University, where both were graduates of the James E. Beasley School of Law.

Dana DiFilippo @ 2:31 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 1:30 PM

The death of a 21-year-old Temple University student last month has been ruled a homicide, police said today.

Agatha Hall, of Park Avenue near Dauphin in Hartranft, was shot in the head in her bedroom sometime before 1 a.m. Aug. 31. Police initially reported that Hall's death was a suicide partly because they found a 9mm handgun underneath her body, police said. But the city Medical Examiner's Office ruled last Thursday that "it was impossible for the victim's gunshot wound to be self-inflicted," due to the location of the gunshot on the top left side of her forehead, police said. The death was then ruled a homicide, police said.

Today, police arrested her boyfriend Brandon Meade, 29, of Stockley Avenue near Crosley in Upper Darby, and charged him with murder. He is being held without bail. Police say an argument sparked the deadly gunfire. 

Dana DiFilippo @ 1:30 PM  Permalink |
POSTED: Tuesday, September 15, 2015, 3:03 PM
Benjamin Twiggs

A North Philadelphia man has been indicted for allegedly defrauding a federal program that donates federal agencies’ unused computer equipment to schools and educational nonprofits.

Benjamin Twiggs, 37, of Seltzer Street near 25th, was charged Monday with making a false statement and transportation of goods taken by fraud, according to U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger. Twiggs in 2013 filed phony paperwork with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that he represented an IRS-recognized tax-exempt organization, the Philadelphia Urban Technology Institute, according to the indictment. But that institute is not a tax-exempt nonprofit. He then allegedly took 96 computer monitors in January from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which had donated them through the federal Computers For Learning program, according to the indictment.

If convicted, Twiggs faces up to 15 years in prison, three years of probation and a $500,000 fine.

Dana DiFilippo @ 3:03 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 and Vinny Vella.

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

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E-mail tips to Vella at and follow him on Twitter here.

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