Task force created for basement case

Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey has formed a task force solely to investigate the case of Linda Ann Weston and her two accomplices, who are charged with keeping four mentally challenged adults locked in a Tacony basement and stealing their Social Security checks.

The force, which consists of detectives from the city's Northeast Detective Division, will devote all its time to following various leads in the case, including tracking down Weston's post office boxes and addresses.

The investigators also are trying to find the owners of the identification documents that were found in Weston's possession when she was arrested. Police found documents for about 50 people, leading them to suspect Weston has been involved in running a wide-ranging fraud operation for years.

Weston, 51, and her accomplices, Gregory Thomas, 47, and Eddie Wright, 50, are being held on charges of kidnapping, aggravated assault and related charges. Police believe they moved the four adults from Texas to Florida before arriving in Philadelphia earlier this month, then kept them in the basement for about two weeks.

The victims were discovered Saturday by the building's landlord. They were malnourished and sleeping on makeshift beds. They have been taken to a nearby mental health facility for the time being.