NBC10.com - Rosemary Connors
A brick-tossing, one-man crime wave hits West Philadelphia. Police say a thief is smashing in windows and doors and then stealing cash registers from local businesses. NBC10's Rosemary Connors talks to some of the restaurant owners who were targeted.
Police are on the hunt for a person who they say is behind two break-ins at restaurants in University City.
Police say the thief first targeted Pho & Café’ Saigon at 43rd and Spruce Streets Monday morning.
The thief tried to smash open the front door but then went through a side window, according to investigators. The suspect stole $50 from the register but also left behind some blood by the broken glass.
“We did recover the blood,” said Philadelphia Police Lieutenant John Walker. “We will do a DNA profile on that blood. Hopefully we’ll be able to get to a suspect on that particular job.”
Tuesday morning, police say the thief broke into Farmacy Restaurant, only two blocks away on 45th and Spruce Streets. Police say the suspect used a brick to break into the restaurant and stole an empty register.
“Just the damage to the door is an inconvenience for us right now,” said Ross Scofield, the owner of Farmacy. “Especially in the first month of us being open. But it could have been a lot worse.”
Police also say two apartments on Spruce were recently broken into. Police are unsure if the restaurant thief is responsible but are currently investigating.
In recent years, more students and restaurants have pushed into West Philadelphia beyond University City. While the area has grown, it’s not immune to crime.
“Penn Police and the Philadelphia Police Department have a partnership,” Lieutenant Walker said. “Then you have the University City ambassadors on bikes at all hours of the day and night.”
Walker advises residents to pay attention to the environment and if they witness a crime in progress, to never try and stop the act themselves.
If you have any information on the recent break-ins, please call Philadelphia Police.