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Chester County Press

East Marlborough supervisors hear about crime in township

11/06/2014 03:18PM ● By J. Chambless

By John Chambless

Staff Writer

At the Nov. 5 meeting of theEast Marlborough Township Board of Supervisors, the board got an update on the township's recent police activity.

Lieutenant Richard D'Ambrosio of the Pennsylvania State Police Avondale barracks presented a report on police calls from the past 90 days. "We've handled a total of 262 calls, which is pretty high for all the townships that we cover," D'Ambrosio said. "We have 12 full-time and another nine part-time that our barracks covers in the southern part of the county. You have your own part-time police department. So that's 262 calls, and we're not even your full-time police department. Mainly, I attribute that to the fact that the population is so big in this township, with all the businesses, and the traffic coming in and out of Longwood and so forth. That contributes to a lot of calls. For the most part, we do consider this a very safe community."

There were 33 vehicle accidents in the past 90 days, 22 of which were reportable, meaning there were injuries, or the vehicles required towing from the scene, D'Ambrosio said.

"There were 41 criminal incidents – three assaults, five residential and commercial burglaries, and 24 thefts. Sixteen of those thefts were at the Walmart."

As a contrast, D'Ambrosio said thefts from the Oxford Walmart store are much worse. "I would say we're out there at least 15 times a week," he said. "We're at the point now where our guys who are assigned out there just basically sit there and do paperwork. Even with our cars out there, we'll sometimes get a call that there's another retail theft. We make quite a few arrests there."

With the holiday season approaching, D'Ambrosio asked that homeowners leave an inconspicuous note on their front doors if packages are to be delivered during the day, when no one is home. "We have people who pretty much make a living these next two months, just driving up and down the streets to steal packages that are left at people's front doors," D'Ambrosio said. "Homeowners should leave a small note telling delivery people to put the packages behind the house, or something like that."

If families want to tip mail delivery people or trash collectors, D'Ambrosio strongly suggested handing out the envelopes in person, and not leaving them for pickup.

"A couple of years ago, we had a couple of heroin addicts who spent two weeks ripping people off that way," he said. "They got thousands of dollars. We were able to make an arrest on it, but they were feeding their addictions by stealing from envelopes people were leaving out."

Neighbors should watch out for each other during the holidays as well, he said. "You know what cars belong at your neighbor's driveway. If you see something that looks out of the ordinary, please give us a call. We'll come and check it out. A lot of times, when we solve burglaries, it's because someone doesn't recognize a vehicle, calls us, and we get out there before they get away."

There were five arrests related to drugs in the past 90 days, D'Ambrosio said, although he did not have specifics on what type of drugs. A Unionville resident tipped D'Ambrosio off to a problem at the parking lot for the ball field across from Hood's Barbeque in the village of Unionville. Teens are parking there to smoke marijuana, the resident said. D'Ambrosio said officers would be targeting the parking lot and thanked the resident for the tip.

In other business, the board approved a limited closure of Route 82 during the Unionville Run For Our Sons 5K on April 18. This will be the sixth year for the fundraiser, which so far has netted more than $310,000 for research into muscular dystrophy. The course runs through adjoining neighborhoods, with a limited stretch on Route 82.

The board also approved a final escrow release and closeout for the Walmart project after all requirements have been met by the retailer. A payment of $94,889 was issued. The board approved a contract with the Ocean Port company, the low bidder, for salt to be used on the roads this winter, at a cost of $58.75 per ton.

A preliminary budget draft for 2015 was approved by the board, and it will be posted on the township's website for public input by township manager Jane Laslo. There is no property tax millage change in store for the township, but the fire tax will be raised from .65 mills to .75 mills, which will be given to the volunteer Po-Mar-Lin and Longwood fire companies.

The Unionville Park project has been getting plenty of use, according to the supervisors, and a low bid of $83,200 was approved from a company that will be completing phase one of the construction and landscaping. The township had estimated $84,500 for the project, and four other bidders were substantially higher – $120,000 to $140,000, according to township engineer Jim Hatfield. The work should be completed in the next eight weeks, Hatfield said.

The second phase of work on the park, to be conducted next year, will include cleaning out the quarry area that has been a site of illegal dumping for several years.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, e-mail [email protected].