HAZLETON — Police in the city of Hazleton have more than a dozen open cases this year, crimes they said they could solve with the public`s help, but they said people are not coming forward.
There have been stabbings, beatings, robberies, shootings.
“Of the last dozen violent crimes, nine of them haven`t been solved that we are confident are solvable. We have done a thorough investigation and we recognize that there are people who know exactly what happened, know who did what and for whatever reason still will not come forward to the police department,” said Police Chief Frank DeAndrea.
In March, A. J. Goryl was found badly beaten on the street in the city.
His attackers have yet to be found.
In the last few weeks, three people were shot in two separate incidents on West Diamond Avenue and a man was found stabbed on Alter and 15th streets.
No one has been arrested for those crimes.
City officials are putting in a surveillance camera system to deter crime. The police chief is hoping to soon start a police auxiliary unit and the state attorney general is putting a special task force in the city to stop street crime.
Vilmarie Budde is a member of a city crime watch group and the Guardian Angels chapter in the city. That is a crime watch group, as well. Like others, she said she is disgusted people will not step forward when they know something.
“I’ve actually lived for 10 plus years in this community and I’ve seen it go from being very quiet community to being what it is now, being a war on crime that we’re fighting,” said Budde.
The police chief said one of the reasons people in the community do not talk to police is that they do not trust them. The other major reason, according to Chief DeAndrea is fear, but he said there is a way to deal with that. There is an anonymous tipline people can all to give information to police.
“Help me help you, I need the community to start to come forward, the community has to start getting outraged and finally decide enough is enough,” he said.
The number for Hazleton police is (570) 459-4950