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Mayor of Reading talks about recent rash of homicides

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 31 2013 07:00:00 PM CDT
Updated On: Aug 01 2013 05:20:06 AM CDT

Mayor of Reading talks about recent rash of homicides

READING, Pa. -

A recent rash of homicides in the city of Reading has the mayor calling on the public to help solve the crimes.

69 News caught up with Reading mayor, Vaughn Spencer, at Sixth and Amity streets, Wednesday evening, where he was holding his weekly face-to-face with neighbors, addressing a number of issues including the crime in the city.

The rash of homicides, three in less than a month, as well as a suspicious death, have all caught the mayor's attention.

The mayor says the plan of attack is to, "get into the areas. We find out if there's any burning issues going on. Things that we can help. Things that need to be done."

Also, Wednesday, New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, announced that more guns from places like Pennsylvania and other states are being used to commit crimes in New York City.

In 2011, 90 percent of the 2,433 traceable guns used in New York City crimes were from outside of New York State, including 237 from Pennsylvania, said Mayor Bloomberg.

Spencer indicates those numbers don't tell the whole story.

"Whether or not they're coming from Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, what have you, we need to do whatever we can to prevent these weapons from getting into the hands of the wrong people."

About 50 people showed up to the mayor's face-to-face at the Sixth and Amity playground, all to make sure their voices were heard.

"You got to have cameras on your house. Your stuff gets stolen off the front porch, and nobody says anything. I hope they plan on doing something while they have this meeting and it's not just for show," said Patricia Whitfield.

"I'm very optimistic," said Bobbie Carlisle. "My family's been here for seven generations. We're not giving up on our town."

Concerns expressed during Wednesday night's meeting will be addressed by the various city department heads, officials from the mayor's office said.

Meanwhile, the three homicides, as well as the suspicious death, mentioned above are still under investigation.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Alert: Berks County immediately.

The number is 877-373-9913.

Anonymous calls are accepted, and you could earn up to a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in homicide cases.