Robbers Target the Elderly in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Wilkes-Barre police have increased patrols in the city's east end due to recent strong-arm robberies.

They're also patrolling more in the north end where they believe a robber is targeting the elderly.

For more than 20 years, Denise Leinbach has lived in Wilkes-Barre's north end, but reports of 12 strong-arm robberies since September have her ready to leave.

"When I first moved here, it was nice. All the neighbors were nice. It was nice here but now no! If I could sell this house I am getting rid of it," said Leinbach.

Torylynn Scott says she just moved to this part of Wilkes-Barre and wondered why police seemed to be in the area so often.

"Now that I know, I will pay more attention, be more cautious, and make sure things are locked up tight," Scott said.

Wilkes-Barre police say since September, robbers have victimized people walking along Washington Street, Chestnut Street, North Main Street, and North Pennsylvania Avenue.

"They should be ashamed of themselves," Leinbach said. "I have lived here for 20 years and have not had any problems."

Police say the armed robbers target the elderly in the north section of Wilkes-Barre, taking wallets and phones.

"They were approached and knocked down in some fashion and then the suspect would go through their pockets," said Wilkes-Barre Police Chief Joseph Coffay.

"I am elderly, too, and I will tell you one thing, if they are coming after me, I am going to hit one of them," Leinbach added.

Wilkes-Barre police have also increased patrols in the city's east end. They believe three men are responsible for a handful of strong-arm robberies in that neighborhood over the past few months.


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