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Crime Spree

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NEWS
June 1, 1988 | By Christine M. Johnson, Special to The Inquirer
For 12 days last summer, Amos Clay shed his image as a Millersville University basketball star and went on a tear, threatening, burglarizing and robbing people in three suburban counties, prosecutors said. Clay, 23, of the Strawberry Mansion section of Philadelphia, had no criminal record and says he still does not know why he did it. But the crime spree has resulted in prison time for Clay, who would have been a college senior this year. Yesterday, Clay was sentenced in Chester County Court to 1 1/2 to 7 years in state prison for threatening a 72-year-old woman and her grandsons with a kitchen knife, locking them in a bathroom, and robbing their Caln Township home on July 14. The sentence brings Clay's prison time, including a sentence for similar crimes in Delaware County, to 4 1/2 to 17 years.
NEWS
April 6, 1988 | By John Way Jennings, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Pennsauken brothers accused of using a toy pistol to begin a 10-week crime spree in East Camden and using the profits from their loot to buy a real gun and drugs have been arrested in connection with 17 armed robberies, three shootings and six sexual assaults. Michael Wayne Leary, 18, and David Steven Leary, 16, both of the 4600 block of Woodland Avenue, were arrested by Camden police Monday. Michael Leary was being held at Camden County Jail after failing to post $100,000 bond.
NEWS
August 18, 1998 | By Michelle Crouch, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
A 19-year-old Lindenwold man admitted yesterday that he had participated in a six-day crime spree that culminated in placing a fake bomb on the roof of Overbrook Senior High School last winter. In Superior Court, Kevin Matthews said he and his friends stole four cars from a used-car dealership, burned three of them, and used a pipe bomb to blow up a car in Gloucester Township before calling in a bomb threat at the school on Feb. 17. Matthews pleaded guilty to aggravated arson, conspiracy to commit aggravated arson, unlawful possession of a pipe bomb, and creating a false public alarm.
NEWS
September 11, 1991 | By Lyn A.E. McCafferty, Special to The Inquirer
In a month-and-a-half crime spree, Antonio Carl Dorman broke into 10 Delaware County homes, threatened residents with a gun, stole money and jewelry and raped a woman. Yesterday, the 22-year-old Sharon Hill man was sentenced to 18 to 40 years in prison for his crimes. He had pleaded guilty before Judge Anthony R. Semeraro to rape, burglary and related charges. The sentence was part of a negotiated plea reached with the District Attorney's Office. Dorman accepted the plea on the advice of his attorney, public defender Spiros E. Angelos, who said his client could have faced a much stiffer jail sentence if convicted of the charges against him. After being arrested Feb. 12 outside Academy Park High School in Sharon Hill, Dorman gave police a detailed confession, admitting to a series of crimes in January and February in Sharon Hill, Folcroft, Glenolden and Upper Darby.
NEWS
February 4, 1999 | by Dave Racher, Daily News Staff Writer
The seven bus-stop robbery victims were terrorized by two men, but most could not identify the pair. However, at least one nailed Gerald Birch, 20, of Albanus Street near 2nd, as one of the bandits who robbed her and another woman at Ogontz and Andrews avenues at 6:15 a.m. on Jan. 30, 1998. Yesterday, a jury convicted Birch of robbery, plus conspiracy to commit other holdups and weapons offenses. He was also found guilty of possessing marijuana. Common Pleas Judge Ricardo C. Jackson revoked bail and deferred sentencing.
NEWS
May 1, 1987 | By Thomas J. Gibbons Jr., Inquirer Staff Writer
A Wynnefield man was arrested last night and charged with participating in a crime spree earlier this week in which two men stole a car and robbed five people within about two hours along and near City Avenue, police said. Among the victims were two men whose cars were forced off the road, police said. Dexter Ayres, 27, of the 5200 block of Lebanon Avenue, was arrested at 6:15 p.m. at his home and charged with auto theft and multiple counts of robbery, police said. A second man was being sought.
NEWS
July 14, 2013 | By Theodore Schleifer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A woman accused of stealing a Philadelphia police car in March as part of a drug-induced crime spree with her boyfriend pleaded guilty to all charges Friday. The plea came after Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich denied Shayna Sykes' motion to quash aggravated-assault charges. Ehrlich set sentencing for Sept. 16. Assistant District Attorney Gaetano D'Andrea said Sykes faced a mandatory one to two years in prison because she had several convictions for driving under the influence.
NEWS
December 2, 2011 | By Tony Norman
"I'm not really the heroic type. I was beat up by Quakers. " - Woody Allen as Miles Monroe in "Sleeper" Quakers aren't part of the American Anabaptist tradition. Other than a shared predisposition toward nonviolence, they have nothing in common with the Amish. Still, Allen's quip helps us think realistically about groups with reputations for fierce peacefulness. Recently, seven members of a breakaway sect were arrested in Ohio for chopping off the beards of their fellow Amish for refusing to tolerate their bad behavior.
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NEWS
June 11, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, Staff Writer
A 23-year-old Camden man was convicted by a jury Tuesday of two violent attacks in 2011, one in which he killed a woman during an armed robbery and the other in which he joined in a home invasion and sexual assault. Steven Alicea was convicted of felony murder and weapons offenses in the death of Lori Breiding, 38, of Camden, who was shot during an armed robbery on the 2600 block of Cramer Street in Camden in September 2011. She died Oct. 1, 2011. A codefendant, John Gonzalez, now 21, also of Camden, was convicted by a jury in January of murder and weapons offenses in Breiding's death.
NEWS
June 13, 2015 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Police on Thursday arrested a 33-year-old Bucks County man they say tried to set a Levittown church on fire, vandalized a school and community pool, and committed a string of other crimes over the last few weeks. John Paul Serina Jr. confessed to police during questioning Thursday morning, said Henry Ward, a Falls Township lieutenant. The initial charge expected to be filed against Serina was arson, Ward said, in the setting afire of a cross and playground at Restoration Church in the Pinewood section on April 19. Serina also threw a Molotov cocktail through a church window that day, Ward said, but the bottle did not break, and firefighters extinguished the blaze quickly.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph Smith called his life a "nightmare that just won't seem to quit," and it's likely no one in the courtroom disagreed. Smith's mental and emotional problems began when he was raped by an older cousin at age 6. Later, in an adult relationship, he learned that his partner had been molesting children and had given him HIV. There was an older half-brother who killed himself, and a friend who was murdered. His problems continued Wednesday when a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court judge sentenced him to four to eight years in prison for a one-day crime spree in which he mugged and robbed a 76-year-old man and a Temple University student.
NEWS
July 24, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Jamar Hunter said he was feeling paranoid, and not without reason. In the months before Aug. 10, 2011, the then-22-year-old Port Richmond man had been stabbed in the chest selling Obama T-shirts on the street; hit by a drunken driver, requiring a steel rod in his left leg; and shot four times in his right leg while still on crutches. Searching for relief from emotional and physical pain, Hunter said, he turned to street drugs - all kinds - and alcohol. On Monday, Hunter's self-medication sent him to prison for 131/2 to 37 years for what the prosecutor called a "maniacal crime spree" that Hunter said he doesn't remember.
NEWS
July 14, 2013 | By Theodore Schleifer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A woman accused of stealing a Philadelphia police car in March as part of a drug-induced crime spree with her boyfriend pleaded guilty to all charges Friday. The plea came after Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Ehrlich denied Shayna Sykes' motion to quash aggravated-assault charges. Ehrlich set sentencing for Sept. 16. Assistant District Attorney Gaetano D'Andrea said Sykes faced a mandatory one to two years in prison because she had several convictions for driving under the influence.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
SEATTLE - The "Barefoot Bandit," who led police on a two-year, cross-country crime spree in stolen boats, cars and planes, is facing new charges in Washington state. Colton Harris-Moore is already serving a seven-year prison term after pleading guilty to state and federal crimes, but Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich filed theft and burglary charges this month against the 21-year-old, accusing him of stealing a couple's plane in 2010 and flying it to an airport 10 miles away.
NEWS
February 22, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
India Spellman, the 17-year-old whose one-day robbery spree with a 14-year-old boy ended in the 2010 shooting death of a World War II veteran, was found guilty of second-degree murder Wednesday by a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court jury. The announcement of the verdict after about two hours of deliberations drew shrieks from Spellman's family, some of whom ran from the courtroom. Spellman's face fell and her lower lip began quivering as she heard the emotion erupt behind her. Twice since the trial began on Feb. 13, Spellman had rejected prosecution guilty-plea deals that would have put her in prison for 20 to 40 years.
NEWS
October 21, 2012 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writer
A WILD crime spree in Frankford early Friday morning culminated with a 61-year-old woman sleeping in her bed taking a stray bullet to the head. A bullet meant for the victim of a robbery on Charles Street near Bridge just before 2 a.m. tore through the siding of a house and struck a woman in the head as she slept in a second-floor bedroom, Chief Inspector Scott Small said. When cops responded to the block, they discovered that the bullet - which had been fired at a 28-year-old woman when she was held up by two men - had somehow torn through siding beneath a window, drywall, a dresser in the older woman's room and her mattress before striking her, Small said.
NEWS
March 21, 2012 | By Kathleen Brady Shea, Inquirer Staff Writer
  A wildlife camera helped to capture a serial burglar whose three-month crime spree victimized 13 homeowners in three Chester County townships, District Attorney Tom Hogan said Tuesday. Larry Samuel, also known as Elijah Samuel, 32, of Coatesville, is accused of committing the crimes in East Fallowfield, Valley, and Sadsbury Townships from Oct. 27 through Feb. 1, Hogan said. The stolen items were electronics, jewelry, and 10 firearms, including semiautomatic weapons. "He targeted homes around where he lived," Hogan said.
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