Northwood neighbors raise alarm over car break-ins

An apparent spike in thefts from vehicles was a hot topic at last week’s Northwood Civic Association meeting.

The Northwood Civic Association meets on the third Tuesday of every month at Simpson Recreation Center, 1010 Arrott St. TIMES FILE PHOTO

Residents flooded the June 18 Northwood Civic Association meeting to voice concerns about an apparent rash of car break-ins in the neighborhood. 

One neighbor said she checked her security footage and saw a man using a device to break into cars that were locked. Another woman said 25 drug users have been living at 1146 Arrott St., including one man who she said had broken into a dozen cars over a two-week period.

NCA President Joe Krause said police are aware of the situation and are patrolling the area at night looking for thieves.

He also urged residents to post photos and details about suspicious incidents on the “Northwood Neighbors” Facebook page to share with the community. The page is also monitored by police and other community stakeholders, he said.

Others at the meeting asked residents to call 911 if they see unusual activity and attend the Police Service Area 1 meetings.

A group of residents were planning to meet Tuesday night, after the Times went to print, to discuss forming a town watch. Krause said the plan was to buy radios and set up patrols.

In 2012, Northwood hired private, armed security for the neighborhood. Krause said that service ended because residents stopped paying dues, but he said the neighborhood may considering bringing it back if the town watch doesn’t work.

In other news from the June 18 meeting:

Northwood resident Rose Williams is in the process of organizing a community festival at Northwood Park. The idea is to bring the neighborhood together with food trucks, live music and activities, she said.

A tentative date for the first-time event was set for Saturday, Aug. 17. People at the meeting seemed interested, and no one spoke up when Krause asked if there was any opposition to the proposal. 

Gaspar Santos, of the Free Library of Philadelphia, told residents that a big renovation is in store for the Frankford Library, 4634 Frankford Ave. More information is coming, and public feedback sessions will be held in the near future, he said.

Representatives from the City Commissioners Office gave a presentation about new voting machines that will be used in this November’s election. The machines feature an electronic touchscreen.

First, voters receive a paper ballot that they will insert into a feeder. A screen will pop up, and voters will touch the name of the candidates of their choice. One of the presenters compared it to picking a food order at Wawa.

After filling out their screen, voters will press “Print Ballot” and will see their selections in a printout in a window. To complete the selections, they will press “Vote” and the paper will be scanned, tabulated and stored in a secure container with all other ballots.

The change to the new machine was made because the state now requires a paper ballot.

Ethelind Baylor, who ran in the May primary as a Democrat for City Council At-Large, appeared at the meeting and thanked people who voted for her. She finished 12th, with 2.12 percent of the vote, but said she planned to run again in the future. 

The Northwood Civic Association’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 16, at 7 p.m. at Simpson Recreation Center, 1010 Arrott St. ••