Crime Concerns in Scranton’s South Side

SCRANTON -- The past few days have brought vehicle break-ins, thefts, and more, causing some to wonder if the crime rate is on the rise in Scranton's south side.

On Saturday, police said Davon Hogan was firing a weapon on Prospect Avenue. He took off but was later arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

Sunday, police spent hours on Pittston Avenue. They said Richard Winn Jr. threatened to kill his family and police and fired more than half a dozen shots from a rifle before he was arrested.

Hours later, cops say a vehicle was stolen from Hemlock Street, later crashing near Lake Scranton. One man was killed in the wreck. The other ran away. Daquan Johnson was later arrested and charged with theft, receiving stolen property, and conspiracy.

"The one policeman last week, when he was investigating the shooting on this intersection, says it's getting like Newark, so that's what we're looking at,” said Dave Watkins.

People who live in the city's south side are concerned. Some have even put security cameras on their homes to catch crooks in the act.

"We're just shocked to see what's going on, and we're horrified, you know? Where is it going to be next? You know? South side was always a great place, the kids here, the schools. I'm nervous now,” said Ann Devereaux of Scranton.

Scranton's police chief said he understands people's concerns, but he said the past few days have not been the norm.

"Statistically, it is not true. You know people's perception of crime. When you get a couple clusters of crime, it certainly seems that way, but when you look at the entire year, it stayed the same. It actually went down a little bit,” said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.

Still, people remain on alert.

"It'd be nice to move out of the city, but no one wants to buy your house, so you can't move out anyway, and I've been here 44 years in this neighborhood, so I’m staying, but it's tough,” said Watkins.

Scranton police say the best thing they can do is make arrests and hold people accountable for their crimes.

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