Archive: January, 2012
The Philadelphia Police Department's YouTube channel, which is used to post surveillance videos when cops are looking for suspects, has become one of the department's best new tools in solving crimes.
As of this week, the channel has gotten more than one million online hits. Not only that, it's turned into a reliable way to crack a case. Cops are now solving up to 25 percent of the cases for which video is posted online, said Philadelphia Lt. Ray Evers, of the public affairs unit. The success of the YouTube presence has led the department to start training detectives in how to use the site, so that officers know how to get video from crime scenes online as soon as possible.
In addition, police said the department's Facebook page has 38,000 followers, making it the most-followed of any law enforcement agency in the country. The PPD's Twitter handle, @Phillypolice, has more than 5,300 followers.
Mayor Nutter formally announced this afternoon that the city will make up to $20,000 in reward money available in all future homicide cases, and described the strategy as "a game-changer."
"To every criminal out there: I just put a $20,000 bounty on your head," Nutter said, flanked by city officials and speaking from a news conference at Strawberry Mansion High School in North Philadelphia. "We are coming for you. We will find you. People will give up that information."
As reported in today's Inquirer, the city also will offer $500 to anyone who can tell police the location of an illegal gun.
Do you know these teenagers?
Police are searching for a group of six who they said attacked a 64-year-old Vietnam War veteran for apparently no reason in Northwest Philadelphia Tuesday evening.
The victim was walking on the 5000 block of N. 5th Street, in the city's Olney section, around 6 p.m., on his way to a bus stop. The teenagers were walking a ways behind him when they decided, "just for sport, to beat this guy down," said Philadelphia Lt. George McClay, of the Northwest detective division.
The shooting Tuesday night that left two teenagers dead and two wounded stemmed from an argument that began in school and ended with a deadly ambush in Juniata Park, police said today.
Cops said they're looking for the 30-year-old stepfather of three of the teenage brothers who were involved in the fight. Philadelphia Capt. James Clark described Axel Barreto as a "person of interest," saying police believe he fired 10 to 12 shots into a car packed with seven teenagers.
Two groups of teenagers got into an argument at school, then taunted each other on Facebook, Clark said, until the teenagers eventually planned to have a physical fight Tuesday night. Around 10:30 p.m., a Toyota packed with the four victims and three other teenagers pulled up in front of the house where Barreto and his three stepsons live, on the 1500 block of East Luzerne Street.
Police have charged a 40-year-old man in the death of a 22-year-old woman who was found strangled to death in Juniata Park in December 2010.
William Walton was taken into custody yesterday and charged with murder today.
Victim Allison Edwards, who lived in Levittown with her mother and stepfather, had struggled with drugs and ended up in Philadelphia when she relapsed after about six months of sobriety. She was found Dec. 3, 2010 in an apartment on Glendale Street, near Erie Avenue. The circumstances surrounding her death initially set off rumors that she was a victim of the serial killer who was at the time preying on women in nearby Kensington, but police soon determined her death was unrelated.
Police early this morning arrested a suspect in the murders of a man and a woman shot in North Philadelphia a few minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve.
Kevin Brown, 30, is charged with murder for allegedly gunning down Arlette Aguero, 31, and Alejandro Garro, 34, as they sat in a car parked on the 5600 block of North 2nd Street.
Police said the motive stemmed from a prior argument between Brown and Aguero, but said they could not say what that fight was about.