Archive: September, 2010
Police arrested a serial bank robber earlier this morning and in a separate incident were looking for the person responsible for shooting a man in West Philadelphia. Joseph DiFalco, 31, of Philadelphia allegedly robbed the Royal Bank branch on Castor Avenue near Levick Street shortly before 10 a.m. and was arrested a short time later, investigators said. DiFalco, who was previously described by the FBI as being 5-foot-3, 130 pounds, was also being sought in connection with five other robberies, officials said.
Police arrested a serial bank robber earlier this morning and in a separate incident were looking for the person responsible for shooting a man in West Philadelphia.
Joseph DiFalco, 31, of Philadelphia allegedly robbed the Royal Bank branch on Castor Avenue near Levick Street shortly before 10 a.m. and was arrested a short time later, investigators said. DiFalco, who was previously described by the FBI as being 5-foot-3, 130 pounds, was also being sought in connection with five other robberies, officials said.
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More than 1,100 people who showed up to see Hip-Hop artist Trey Songz sign CDs at a Center City music store during rush hour yesterday blocked traffic and forced the closure of the store and the cancellation of the artist's appearance, according to police.
Through a promotion with radio station Power99, the FYE store at Broad and Chestnut was to hold a CD signing with Trey Songz yesterday in which the first 800 people who bought an album would get it signed by the artist, Lt. Frank Vanore, police spokesman, said.
Those 800 people all had yellow arm bands and were allowed inside of the store, but when an additional 300-to-400 people crowded around the store just to see his arrival, it shut down traffic in Center City, which was already congested with the President in town yesterday, police said.
A planned autograph session at a Center City record store was canceled by police earlier tonight after hundreds of rowdy kids crammed into the area.
Police spokesman Lt. Frank Vanore said 200 to 300 teens swarmed around the F.Y.E. store at Broad and Chesnut streets about 5:30 p.m. in anticipation of event organized by Power 99 FM. According to the radio station's Web site, R&B star Trey Songz was supposed to sign copies of his CD at the store from 5 to 7 p.m.
When the crowd became unruly, the radio station called off the autograph session, Vanore said. Scores of cops were called to the scene and helped disperse the crowd, he added. There were no reports of any arrests.
A 21-year-old man was fatally shot in front of a West Philadelphia takeout shop earlier today. Homicide Sgt. Tim Cooney said the victim, whose name was not released, who wounded twice about 3 p.m. outside China Garden on Haverford Avenue near 52nd Street.
The victim might have staggered into the shop after he was wounded, Cooney said. The man died at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania at 3:20 p.m. Cooney said investigators had no suspects or motives. Tipsters can contact the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or -3335.
Police have arrested a woman who allegedly handed over her baby boy to a stranger on the streets of North Philadelphia this weekend and then walked away.
Sharon Rivera, 24, was seen on Lawrence Street near Indiana Avenue around 10:30 p.m. Friday in an incapacitated state, possibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol, Special Victims Unit Capt. John Darby said. Rivera had her 2-month old son, who was not properly clothed, with her at the time, Darby said.
When a woman approached Rivera to ask if she wanted to come inside of her house and get herself together, Rivera allegedly handed the stranger her baby and walked away, never to return.
Earlier in the day, police identified the 32-year-old bicyclist who was gunned down in West Philly on Wednesday as Rasul Gresham.
Gresham, of 59th Street near Larchwood Avenue, was wounded several times about 11 a.m. by two men who were also on bikes at 59th and Pine streets. He died at the scene; the killers are still on the loose. Tipsters can contact the Homicide Unit at 215-686-3334 or -3335.
Tired of lugging around Grandpa's old Tommy Gun? Sick of staring at Cousin Earl's .45 in the dining room? Philadelphia police have the solution: a gun buyback event will be held from noon to 2 p.m. tomorrow at Our Lady of Consolation Church at 7000 Tulip Street in Northeast Philadelphia.
Here's the deal -- you bring a gun, and the PD will hand over a $50 voucher that can be redeemed at ShopRite or Acme. No questions. No awkward stares. Just a good, clean, guns-for-food trade-off.
First, the good news: as of Tuesday, police statistics show, overall violent crime in the city has fallen five percent from a year ago.
Now, the bad news: those same statistics show that two crucial areas of violent crime -- murders and shootings -- are up four percent and seven percent, respectively.
So it should come as no surprise, then, that I just finished writing a story that recounted seven shootings, one of which was fatal, that unfolded over the course of just nine hours today. That story will undoubtedly appear on philly.com in a matter of minutes, so let's use this space to ponder one simple question: What the hell?