Nearly a dozen cars vandalized in Holmesburg

December 29, 2010 3:23:59 PM PST
Residents in the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia are angry after nearly a dozen cars were vandalized while they slept.

Not only are they upset about the crime, but they are also unhappy with the response by law enforcement.

Windows were smashed out of cars in the 8400 block of Walker Street. Police say a thief or thieves broke into the cars looking for items of value.

Teri Notch said her GPS unit was stolen. "They tore apart everything," Notch added, "but I didn't have anything else. They were rooting around - my whole glove box was removed."

Residents say this type of thing has happened before, and added they feel police are indifferent to the crimes. Instead of multiple reports for multiple cars, the vehicle owners say they were given a combined document number.

"They said they can't take any fingerprints because it's too cold, they said it was too early for a detective to come out," Notch said.

Another car owner, John Tuminaro, told a similar story.

"They said they couldn't lift prints in the cold, so I warmed my truck up so they could on the inside," Tuminaro said. "Someone got into my truck and hit the unlock button, so there are obvious spots, but no one was willing to try."

Officially the police say taking fingerprints in this weather would require taking possession of the cars and putting them in a warm garage for several days. That is something not normally done with property crimes, they say.

The victims of the vandalism said they believe this is linked to open-air drug dealing that has been going on in the neighborhood, which they say has also been reported to police.

Police told Action News that the document the residents were given was part of standard procedure.

Unofficially, Action News is told a police officer who specializes in car theft and car break-ins will be in contact with some of the victims.


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