Tuesday, December 02, 2003


SEPTA Police arrested a 17-year-old West Philadelphia boy following a series of thefts along the El. The Daily News reports that the teenager, who was not identified by due to his age, was captured following a sting operation at 60 St station in West Philadelphia, shortly after 1:30am Monday morning. The suspect will face charges of burglary, possession of an instrument of crime (he was caught with a tire iron and a screwdriver, along with a set of SEPTA-issued keys), criminal mischief, and trespassing. An adult accomplice is still at large, having escaped while the teen was arrested.

Lt. Michael Chitwood of the Philadelphia Police Southwest Detectives bureau reported that the suspects had allegedly stolen $371 from the 63 St station before they were caught at 60 St.

Police are investigating whether or not the two suspects were involved in a series of thefts along the El on November 24, which occured at 11 St, 15 St, Spring Garden, and York-Dauphin.

SEPTA also reported a rash of thefts over the summer, however, SEPTA's Minister of Mis-information Richard Maloney didn't elaborate (as usual). (Just wondering: Why is it that SEPTA is just now getting around to mentioning this item? Was this something that SEPTA wanted to cover up, or are SEPTA Police simply that incompetent? If these suspects were also involved in the summer thefts, why didn't SEPTA act sooner to take them off the streets?)

This also raises the question: How did two thiefs manage to obtain a set of SEPTA-issued keys in order to allegedly commit these crimes? Could the accomplice be a disgruntled former SEPTA employee (or for that matter, a current SEPTA employee)? Could a SEPTA employee - possibly in the revenue collection department - have been lax in securing his/her keys? Or, could they have impersonated a SEPTA employee (which, given how lax security is at certain garages and rail yards, is not that far fetched)?

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