Troop commander advises caution and awareness

Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Tracy Brown told Pennsbury
Township residents to lock their car doors and keep their identification
secure.

Brown took over command of the Avondale barracks in April
and has been introducing himself to residents in the various townships that
Troop J covers.

The 27-year state police veteran told residents during the
township supervisors’ Aug. 18 meeting that he wants to establish and maintain
transparency and open communication with them.

“We try to be the best, but we know we’re not perfect,” he
said.

He and his troopers look for trends, he said, noting that
there has been an overall increase in crime because of the economy.

“People do desperate things in desperate times,” he said.

One of the trends has been an increase in thefts from
vehicles. To help fight that, he told residents to make sure they keep their
car doors locked and not leave items visible. Brown said 90 percent of the
thefts from cars happen with unlocked vehicles.

He also said women should keep their purses zipped, even
if they’re left unattended for only a second. It doesn’t take long for a criminal
to grab a wallet.

Brown also advised people to shred papers containing
personal information. He said a crosscut shredder is best.

He also wants people to stay alert, saying residents are the
eyes of the police.

“But please,” he added, “no heroics. Call us and we’ll do
our job,” he said.

Supervisors thanked Brown for a breakfast meeting they had
with him and Supervisors’ Chairman Wendell Fenton said troopers have improved
their responses to incidents on Cossart Road since that meeting.

Brown was asked about the lack of information coming from
the barracks regarding a rash of burglaries last month and a rumored home
invasion in Pennsbury last week.

He confirmed the incidents and said he would look into why
press releases hadn’t been issued.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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