No violent crime in 7th Police District last month

However, 7th Police District Capt. Robert Ritchie warned that certain Honda Accords are being targeted for theft.

Newly returned 7th Police District Capt. Robert Ritchie brought good news to Greater Bustleton Civic League’s April meeting — there was no violent crime in the police district that month.

However, he also brought a warning. Owners of Honda Accords years 2016 through 2018 should be wary of recurring auto thefts targeting those specific models happening all over the city.

Ritchie believes a group of thieves has the materials to remove the 10 different styles of lug nuts on the vehicles’ tires. Several cars in the 7th District had lug nut tighteners and removers stolen from their glove boxes.

Ritchie described a video police obtained of a theft in progress. The first thief removed all four of the car’s tires in under 20 seconds, Ritchie said, describing the incident as “nothing short of amazing.” A second thief arrived shortly in a silver 2017 or ’18 Honda Accord and swiftly removed the tires after lifting the targeted car with some sort of hydraulic lift.

The incident started at 5:11 a.m. By 5:41 a.m., all four tires were gone. Ritchie said removing the tires had only taken the thief three of those minutes. There were five similar incidents.

He also talked about a second group of thieves potentially linked to the first that has been stealing catalytic converters from several trucks.

“All that work for $60 of parts,” he said.

Four officers are assigned to watching out for instances like this nightly.

Ritchie urged Accord owners to park in garages overnight if possible and be watchful. He also reminded neighbors to call 911 if they see anything suspicious, and said they should not be afraid to call even if they may be mistaken.

In other news:

• Residents voted on a zoning issue to allow a church to be hosted in part of a building owned by Posel Management Company. The building, located at 1926–38 Grant Ave., is zoned as CA-1, which is a shopping center and commercial area. Daycare CCIS Northeast Philadelphia occupies most of the building.

The congregation consists of about 20 adults and 10 kids, and said it would easily fit into the allotted 750 square feet space. Representatives said the only service the church would perform was a 30-minute sermon every Sunday morning. There is a parking lot outside the building, and they will be given 25 of the 87 spots Sunday mornings.

Residents agreed to allow the church to be hosted in the building for a two-year lease, with several conditions. The church will only be able to host the weekly sermon there, and not any weddings, daycares, Bible studies or other events. They also cannot sublease to another church and cannot expand further.

• Every member of the GBCL board was nominated to continue their roles for the next year. Nobody else was nominated. Official voting will take place at the next meeting.

• It was a long time coming, but the Bustleton Bengals Gym is finally prepared to hold its groundbreaking ceremony this Thursday.

• City Commissioner Al Schmidt stopped by to remind residents about the upcoming May 15 primary and to answer questions about voter registration.

• Maternity BVM’s annual carnival will be held May 14–19. The Krewstown Road Festival will happen in June.

• Meetings take place the fourth Wednesday of every month at the American Heritage Federal Credit Union at 2060 Red Lion Road. ••