A violent home invasion has Philadelphia police hunting for some preteen suspects.
Police say they beat a 51-year-old woman with some unusual items, including a plunger.
They say that a family friend found the victim in the backyard, on her knees, crying and begging for her life to be spared.
When police arrived, they found her room ransacked, cabinets emptied and the victim, an Asian female with mental disabilities, beaten and robbed.
“They hit her in the face with a rock, they used rope and also sticks and a potted plant,” Lt. John O’Hanlon explained.
Police say the three suspects, described by the victim as black juveniles, ran away with the victim’s purse. Police were eventually able to identify the suspects as 7, 10 and 12-year-old boys.
“It’s amazing that these kids so young can be so violent,” Lt. O’Hanlon added.
“We talked to the victim’s family friend who asked that we don’t identify her.
“They just followed her. She just got back from doing laundry. When she got home, they beat her and threw stuff into the house.”
The victim was rushed to Temple University Hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises to her face and knees.
The family friend added, “They kept asking for money and they took her purse with some important paper in there.”
Neighbor Edward Pastoriza said, “It doesn’t surprise me. A lot of these kids, they hang around with older kids and they learn how to do things like this.”
It turns out, the 10-year-old suspect was a neighbor of the victim. He was arrested almost immediately.
The victim’s family friend explained, “The parents came to apologize and after they saw what happened, they said to call the police.”
Lt. O’Hanlon added, “The mother knew something was wrong when she saw the police and she basically came outside and said, ‘Here he is.’”
As of late Monday, police say they believe they have identified the remaining two suspects as 7 and 12-year-old boys. Police expect to arrest them shortly and charge the 10 and 12-year-olds with Home Invasion Robbery and related offenses.
By law, we are told, the 7-year-old is too young to be charged with a crime.
E-fits of a gang of thieves who look they like have travelled from the early 1900s have been released by police in England.
The prime suspects are a woman who may well have stepped off the set of Brideshead Revisited or Poirot in her 1920s turban hat and bright red lipstick.
Her burly accomplice appears to be wearing a sailor’s hat in a bid to disguise himself as Benny Hill’s Ernie who was, of course, the fastest milkman in the west.
They are joined by a ginger-haired woman and are wanted by Gloucestershire police in connection with two thefts. And it should not be too hard to spot the trio.
‘The woman looks just like Miss Lemon from the Poirot series,’ said 58-year-old company director Giles Hayhurst, from Cirencester, Gloucestershire. ‘Maybe the force can enlist the detective skills of Poirot to solve this mystery.’
In the first incident, the Brideshead Revisited lookalike distracted an elderly woman by asking her for directions while carrying a map.
Her Benny Hill-inspired accomplice then used the opportunity to steal a credit card from the good samaritan’s car.
They then spent £1,000 on the card in March.
Police are also hunting the pair over a similar incident in Cheltenham the following month.
A woman had her purse stolen in a supermarket car park by the man while his glamorous assistant again asked for directions.
‘We understand it is human nature to want to help people who appear to be lost but sadly there are some preying on people’s good will to their advantage,’ said Paul Francis, from Gloucestershire police.
Criminals in New South Wales are increasingly working business hours, breaking into homes, stealing cars and committing thousands of assaults from 9am-5pm.
While their victims were on the job, criminals undertook 25,818 break and enters and stole from more than 18,000 cars, according to NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research figures from October 2010 until September 2011.
The peak time for a non-alcohol related assault was between 9am and 5pm, with almost 23,000 incidences reported to police. Officers also reported more than 34,000 cases of malicious damage to property when residents were at work.
Australian Institute of Criminology research director Dr Rick Brown said the figures fitted in with what he knew about this types of crime and people’s routines.
“Theft from motor vehicles, robberies, malicious damage to property, motor vehicle theft and break and enter are largely what we might call predatory, street-level crimes, that rely on an offender targeting a vulnerable location,” he said.
Using public transport or being on the street makes people a target for criminals, he said.
“When at work, they are more likely to leave their cars in car parks, which offenders know won’t be returned to for several hours. Daytime is also when people are most likely to leave their houses unoccupied, and so making it an easier target for break and enter offences.”