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Police Investigating Spate of Crimes at Heights of Collingswood

The crimes appear to target older residents at the apartment complex.

Collingswood police are trying to determine if a series of recent attacks on older residents—including a reported carjacking—at the Heights of Collingswood apartment complex are connected. 

Over the past month at the sprawling  on Collings Avenue, three residents have been attacked, and a fourth possible assault was reported but not yet substantiated by police. 

"We're trying to tie all the incidents together to see if they're related," said Collingswood Police Lt. Glenn A. Prince. 

did not release information about the incidents until Thursday morning. 

Prince provided the following information about the attacks:

• On Dec. 10, 2011, at about 3:30 p.m., police responded to a report of an assault in the parking lot of Building C at the complex. A 68-year-old man told police that as he exited his vehicle, two males who appeared to be in their late teens to early 20s approached him, and one brandished what appeared to be a black handgun. One of the males pushed the victim to the ground, and the other stuck the gun in the man's chest. The victim tried to get to his feet, but was again pushed to the ground. At that time, an unidentified motorist pulled into the parking lot, and the suspects fled. Nothing was taken from the victim, and he was not injured.

• Two days later, on Dec. 12 at about 8:30 p.m., police responded to another report of an assault in the same parking lot. The incident was reported by a resident who reportedly witnessed it from a balcony. By the time police arrived, the victim and the perpetrators were gone. The report remains under investigation. "We were unable to find anybody out there" after responding to the initial call, Prince said. "We're not sure if it really happened, and if it was a robbery or an assault."

• On New Year's Eve, at about 10:30 p.m. police responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery, also in the parking lot of Building C. A 64-year-old man told police he was walking his dog when he was approached by two males who pushed him to the ground. One of the males took the victim's wallet, and both suspects fled on foot. The victim was not injured.

• In the most recent incident, at about 6 p.m. on Tuesday, police responded to a report of a carjacking in the parking of Building A. A 64-year-old woman told police she had just exited her vehicle, a black 2003 Ford Taurus, when four males approached her and one of them pushed her to the ground. One of the males grabbed the victim's purse and removed the car keys from it. He then got into the vehicle and drove off. Prince said it was not immediately clear whether the other suspects also got into the car, or if the woman suffered any injuries. The vehicle apparently was recovered in Camden on Wednesday night by Camden Police following a brief pursuit, but Prince was unable to provide additional details.

Police were unable to provide detailed physical descriptions of the suspects in each of the incidents. Prince said detectives are aggressively investigating the alleged crimes.

He reminded residents to immediately call police if they see or hear anything suspicious.

"Let us determine if it's a valid complaint," Prince said. "Our policy is to respond to all complaints, no matter how trivial they might seem."

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call Collingswood Police Detective Sgt. Guy DeRitis at 856-854-2401, ext. 102.

One road town January 13, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Sad stories, and I hope all the victims are coping well, or as best they can. ......And the ironic part about this story coming out today, more than 170,000 votes for the 'Best town in America' were cast and nobody seems to recognize Collingswood as a very dangerous one. I can't believe that 'Haddon Ave' has the capability, and is that hypnotic, that the drugs, open air drug use and crime to make people not care. ....We need to demand better.
Porterincollingswood January 13, 2012 at 12:47 AM
What is...hyberbole, Alex? (ding, ding, ding) Yeah, I was watching "The Wire" the other night and was surprised to learn that it was shot in Baltimore and not Collingswood.
One road town January 13, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Sorry to see that you do not explore the rest of the town. Guess it makes it easier for you to assess things from your tv experience.
Porterincollingswood January 13, 2012 at 12:53 AM
I grew up in a neighborhood you wouldn't drive through in broad daylight. Collingswood isn't even in the same league. Your comment was way over the top.
Porterincollingswood January 13, 2012 at 12:55 AM
"The crime and open air drug use is as bad as Camden" I mean, do you even read this stuff before you type?
One road town January 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I don't care where you grew up, I lived in much worse, who cares about tit for tat and once upon a time. The fact is you started comparing Baltimore when it's not relevant. And yes, I do missionaires in Camden, and I will tell you right now, when things get too hot over there, they come RIGHT HERE. They don't sit in front of the Pop Shop LOL, they go to the half way houses, apartments, Newton Lake, etc etc ...... Open your eyes.
Porterincollingswood January 13, 2012 at 01:05 AM
"very dangerous" Lookit, that and other town-bashing comments you've made are positively un-serious. There is no doubt that the town is facing the same issues most towns in the US are - higher crime + reduced law enforcement. But you just went way too far. You can make the point without the silly hyperbole. I love it, things are getting "too hot" in Camden (a place with about 10 cops at this stage), yet Collingswood is "as bad as Camden". Where will they head next? Haddonfield? Stop it.
One road town January 13, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Stop using hyberbole, I know what it means, and I know you do not use that word in your vocabulary. Camden had half its force reduced to due politics a year ago and has since hired back 80% that were laid off, state troopers are also now part of patrols. Police force in a town has nothing to do with crime prevention. Crime prevention starts with community members being aware of what is going on, and reporting things that look out of place. You suffer from main street syndrome. I love the downtown part of Collingswood too, just as much as you I would gather, but that doesn't negate crime that going down on Rt130, Browning, Rt30, Ferry Ave. If you want police reports and national news media to validate the justified crime, my friend at that point it's too late. Camden was once a BEAUTIFUL sprawling community, now, not so much, right? At what point do you think the community gave away permission to the lifestyle that exists there now? What date was it? ....Obviously a rhetorical question, because you don't get to have things taken from you via permission. Again, you do not walk this town, bike around the town, nor see all aspects of it, as you would see what I'm talking about. Walk around the grounds of the Heights and Newton Lake at night,
Porterincollingswood January 13, 2012 at 01:35 AM
You know a lot. You know where I grew up and what it was like. You know that where you grew up was worse. You know what kinds of words I use. You know that I don't walk this town. You know that I don't bike this town. You know what I am exposed to and what I am not. You know how all of this compares to where I lived in the past. You don't "think"...you "know". Because you couldn't possibly be wrong. You're always right? Does that about size it up? You are a very silly person. And a waste of time. Now, I will go to sleep in my bathtub because I am so afraid of being shot in this town. Because it is "very dangerous" and "as bad as Camden".
One road town January 13, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Have a nice night Potterincollingswood. Sorry you didn't read the story either. You have drug this conversation around with irreverent points and then don't like to get called out on them, that's your prob, not mine. :)
Porterincollingswood January 13, 2012 at 01:43 AM
Baltimore was an attempt to mock you, sorry you missed it. There - at last, something you didn't know!
One road town January 13, 2012 at 01:51 AM
I know Potterinscollingswood, you have been trying to mock me the entire time. and yet failing to address the story, the entire time... All I asked was, please look around the town, the entire town.....If you are looking for wild west shoot outs you probably won't see them, just like you won't see them in Camden either everyday..... Newton Lake and the Heights and the north and west part of Collingswood do in deed have issues that most of this town is unaware of. And that is to be expected, I do not mock those who do not know, just that those who do need not be scared but be more forthright in calling the police. I do not know why this is so hard. Really, if you care about the town, call the police when you see something, and hey if you don't you don't....
Porterincollingswood January 13, 2012 at 02:01 AM
The town has issues, and some incidents of major concern have occurred as of late. Let's agree on that point (I think we can) and do what we can to make things better and move on. A lot of people have seen these guys, so let's hope they are in custody soon.
Jessie Peterson January 13, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Males? Is that "libtardspeak" for savage negro beasts?
Unhappy Colls Resident January 13, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Wasn't this one of Collingswood's "Crowning Jewels" per our mayor. It's right back to the way it was before the town bought it and supposedly cleaned it up.
Maya Elliott January 14, 2012 at 02:03 PM
You are ignorant. Collingswood is filled with nothing but poor white trash.
One road town January 14, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Congratulations Maya, you have managed to even further out due Jessie's preposterous comment. The both of you can take your degenerate mentality and get out. Nobody will care if you are gone. You don't like it here, leave, and that would make life a better place here in Collingswood. For rest of us who care about this town and what goes on will stay behind and sort things out. Thanks, and all the best on your new found hometown that you have invested nothing in!! :)
Christopher Gass January 14, 2012 at 04:02 PM
People need to carry their own gun and shoot the bastards.
Anne Carroll January 15, 2012 at 06:14 AM
Alas "Unhappy," you are so right. My initial infatuation with this great little town is fading bit by bit. Several years ago, I almost rented an apt. in the Heights, but when the sales person opened the aprtment door, about one thousand pigeons, who had been living in the space, took flight. This was a little hint to me, and fortunately I took it.
Sublimefan January 20, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Does anyone know if non-residents have access to the building's Henway?
Nicole K. N. January 21, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Firstly, MAYA ELLIOT... you seem be be close minded and have grudge against us "poor white trash". Your comment and opinion is laughable. Per chance, could you be of "African American" descent? And secondly, let's not beat around the bush here, a better description of the assailants could be released, such as the race perhaps? Maybe it's just me, but that seems like it may help quite a bit in finding and or eliminating the suspects in these attacks against older, helpless senior citizens. BOOM!
JeRZ April 06, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Wow readng all this back and forth is crazy very hurtful and just all really like damn thats what this town is rally reduced too the heights of collingswood are only the start of many problems being faced in this town which too me is still very great regardless the problems going on i have a child in this town and have been a child born andrasied in this town and too me its still a wonderful place too live we all just need too be just that more safe in it being as others are coming into it and trying too ruin its well established image umm hmm !!!!!!!!
JeRZ April 06, 2012 at 11:44 PM
futhermore the saying goes "ITS NOT WERE YOUR FROM ITS WERE YOUR AT" hence if you reside here in colls now thenshw were your at and how you moved from were your from too live in a better invironment which is were your at here in COLLINSWOOD yes my home and heart since 1981 and i will continue too live and rasie my child here and stay focused on the tradtions and life here in COLLINGSWOOD for it is my home and will forver be just that a great place too live umm hmm so all that in the earlier comments about were those folks were from and what they saw on tv and this and that has nothing too do towards the facgt of whats going on here in this great town of COLLINGSWOOD!!!!!!!! Sow pride in were your from even if life there was bad but show even more love, respect, and as well pride in were your at now here in COLLINGSWOOD cause if you didnt think it was a great nice place too live you would have choosen another area and or spot too live right or wrong yeah i think you understand my point umm hmm thank you again for allowing me too share!!!

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