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Town Watch, Police Ask For Public's Help In Ongoing Mayfair Vandalism Spree

By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Vandals continue to prey on Mayfair residents, leaving many to wonder -- will it ever stop?

Most recently, one resident had all four tires taken off and stolen over the weekend. Earlier in the month, vandals have slashed tires and spray painted graffiti on dozens of more cars throughout the neighborhood.

So Monday night, worried residents met with town and city officials to hammer out a plan to catch the culprits.

While dozens attended the meeting, some Mayfair residents questioned why the room wasn't more packed.

Milt Martelack, Mayfair Town Watch President said, "If we continue to hide behind our curtains and say this is a problem that's going to get better or go away, it's not folks. It's only going to get worse."

So Townwatch and police took the opportunity to stress: They need the public's help.

Capt. Frank Bachmayer with the Philadelphia Police Department added, "Somebody out there knows who is committing these crimes so we're asking for someone to come forward and give us some information to steer us in a certain direction."

This month alone, more than 30 car owners reported to police they found their tires slashed, two dozen others found graffiti spray painted on their cars. Kristin O'Connor noted thieves have also been running loose for far too long.

O'Connor of 3200 Princeton said, "On my block alone, in a five block radius, four houses, all their cars, all wheels taken within the last ten months."

O'Connor fell victim four weeks ago. Her neighbor was the most recent victim of this crime this past Saturday.

Police say they are doing their part and have made some arrests in the theft cases. But we're told those arrests came as a result of 911 calls from the public. O'Connor and neighbors left the meeting agreeing with officials: the community needs to get involved.

O'Connor said, "I understand, I'm not one that was involved so maybe I do, maybe I need to step up and get involved."

Joe Conboy added, "We need to start with the parents and then go to the children and then take the neighborhood back and get it back the way it was."

Currently, the Mayfair Town Watch consists of 12 members.

If you'd like to join, you do need to get trained and certified. The next certification class is scheduled to be held on March 12th. For more information on how you can apply, email:

A "Beef and Beer" event benefitting Mayfair Town Watch along with Tacony/Holmesburg Town Watch is also planned for March 11th from 4p-7p at Reale's Restaurant and Bar, 7233 Frankford Avenue. Tickets are $25 at the door.

Any questions, contact (215) 983-9600.

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