2 cops charged with stealing utilities

Posted: September 12, 2012

A PAIR OF veteran Philadelphia police officers were arrested and charged Tuesday with stealing utilities from PGW, Peco Energy Co. and the Water Department.

Lt. Aisha Perry, 53, faces six counts of theft of services, conspiracy and risking a catastrophe, police said.

Officer George Suarez, 54, faces 10 counts of theft of services, six counts of conspiracy and 10 counts of risking a catastrophe, police said.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that both cops would be suspended 30 days with the intent to dismiss.

According to a law-enforcement source, the theft of services involved two properties: Perry's house, on Winchester Avenue near Narvon Street, in Northeast Philadelphia; and a rehabilitation center called Clean and Sober Residents, on Girard Avenue near 19th Street, in North Philadelphia.

Perry and Suarez are listed in real-estate records as the owners of the Girard Avenue property.

Suarez is a 25-year veteran of the force, most recently assigned to Germantown's 14th District.

Perry, a 31-year veteran of the force, has been on desk duty since May 2011 while Internal Affairs and the District Attorney's Office investigated the theft allegations.

Since 2009, 51 Philadelphia police officers have been arrested.

"It's painful, but there's more to come," Ramsey said, adding that the U.S. Attorney's Office and the D.A.'s Office are investigating criminal allegations against other cops.

"I'm committed to weeding out any form of corruption in the department," he said.

Perry came under additional scrutiny in July, when a longtime friend, Mark Cummins, accidentally drowned in her backyard pool.

The Daily News reported at the time that Perry allegedly made several phone calls before calling 9-1-1 to report the drowning, according to police sources.

Although Cummins had spent several hours with Perry at her house before the drowning, she described him as a "prowler" to a 9-1-1 dispatcher.

That incident also became the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation, which is ongoing, Ramsey said.

- Staff writer Morgan Zalot

contributed to this report.

Contact David Gambacorta at gambacd@phillynews.com or 215-854-5994. Follow him on Twitter at @dgambacorta.

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