Delaware County crime on the rise

FOLCROFT, Pa. – September 14, 2009

"These small towns out here, they're not used to it. And you're talking small departments, small towns, resources are minimum at best," said Chief Bob Ruskowski.

Folcroft police have been very busy lately keeping up with criminals. Of late, there was the crew that hijacked a delivery truck loaded with $22,000 worth of Flat Screen Hi-Def Televisions. Police say they are the two guys in the Dark Blue Yukon. They were captured on surveillance video at a warehouse staking out the truck as it was being loaded.

"When they pulled out, they boxed the truck in and the hijacked the truck," said Detective Bill Wisely.

The truck was later found on fire in North Philadelphia near LaSalle University minus the television sets.

Police have since learned from Baltimore County authorities that they may be part of a cargo theft ring operating there that was setting its sights on moving north into Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and that this group has been very busy targeting delivery trucks.

"Our understanding is this is going on all up & down the East coast."

Then there was the Folcroft woman who went out with her girlfriends recently to a local bar in neighboring Glenolden, and was followed home by two armed gunmen who weren't even in the bar.

"All of a sudden, 2 men come across my yard with guns pointed at me, it was terrifying."

The thieves took jewelry and her purse and were later captured on surveillance video attempting to use her credit cards at a Wal-Mart in Franklin Mills and a McDonald's on Red Lion and the Boulevard.

"I mean your wife or your daughter could be going to the Wawa, coming out of the store and be followed. It's how crazy it's getting anymore."

But Folcroft is not alone other departments are also being overwhelmed.

In Ridley Park, among other crimes, there was the cold-blooded thief who snatched an iPod from a Vietnam vet in a wheelchair.

Then there were the guys in Upper Darby who went into Delaware County Memorial Hospital and made off with the ATM machine with $96,000. A crime that even by Upper Darby standards was far out of the ordinary.

Is there any explanation for the steady upsurge in crime in Delaware County?

"Some people say the economy, but that's an easy out. Right now because of what happen in the past year, this has been getting steadily, we've been getting steadily busier!"

You can get the latest crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police by CLICKING HERE for the force's crime data mapping site.

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