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Crime discussed at Rhawnhurst Civic meeting

Rhawnhurst residents heard from Lt. Mark Rutizer about recent crimes in the area, and also discussed a potential hookah lounge and supervised injection sites.


The Rhawnhurst Eyes & Ears Community Watch and Civic Association met Thursday, Feb. 21, and the guest speaker was Lt. Marc Rutizer, of the 2nd Police District.

Rutizer provided a crime update, and spoke about recent high-profile incidents, including the shooting of a teenager inside a Glendale Avenue home, a shooting at Roosevelt Mall and a violent home invasion on Rhawn Street.

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He said he personally responded to the Roosevelt Mall shooting on Feb. 11, and officers arrested two men and recovered an AR-15 gun and various narcotics. Rutizer said an innocent woman who was watching television in her home on the 7200 block of Hanford Street was almost hit by a stray bullet.

As previously reported by the Times, two men were injured in the shooting, which occurred in the mall parking lot.

Rutizer also told residents that an employee at Jardel Recreation Center, 1400 Cottman Ave., was recently assaulted by a group of males at the playground.

In addition, Rutizer said police responded to an aggravated assault involving domestic violence on the 900 block of Chandler Street and arrested a man in connection with a robbery on the 7000 block of Castor Avenue.

On Feb. 18, someone burglarized a home on the 1900 block of Borbeck Avenue after breaking in through a kitchen window, Rutizer said. He urged residents to lock all windows and purchase brackets for window air conditioner units.

Rutizer also suggested putting a big dog bowl or large work boots outside to dissuade criminals from breaking into a house.

Victims of burglary or vehicle theft should not clean up their property, he said, because it could contaminate the crime scene for investigators.

In other news from the Rhawnhurst meeting:

Civic association president Ken Kline said the community group may soon hear about a zoning application for a permit to operate a hookah lounge at 7704 Castor Ave.

Several residents said they believe the property has already been operating as a hookah lounge on the weekends. Kline took an informal survey, and no one at the meeting said they supported a hookah lounge on Castor Avenue.

Kline said a community group from Kensington contacted him to find out about the civic association’s stance on supervised injection sites.

There was a lot of talk on the subject, and Kline said he is planning to send a letter to the Kensington organization saying the civic association does not support an injection site.

The Rhawnhurst Eyes & Ears Community Watch and Civic Association’s next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Rhawnhurst Presbyterian Church, 7701 Loretto Ave. ••

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