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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Cell Phone Store Thief Pleads Guilty, Alleged Co-Conspirator Back in Custody



One of the two thieves who broke into the Metro PCS Cell Phone store in Bristol Borough just under a year ago pleaded guilty to one count of receiving stolen property late last month.

John Mathis, 32 of Fairless Hills agreed to the offer made by prosecutors the same day his alleged partner in crime Ashley Hicks, of Philadelphia was arrested on a Bucks County warrant in Philadelphia a little more than a week before her 33rd birthday of August 10.  She was released in April of 2022 following a bail reduction hearing and had absconded from authorities since May of this year.

The duo were arrested on October 6th after breaking into the popular cell phone retailer on the 200 block of Bristol Pike. What they weren’t aware of for the one hour of time after the break in was the devices they had stolen had tracking devices installed for this kind of situation.

Police on scene observed the front door to the cell phone store was ajar and forced open. Shortly thereafter police were alerted one of the stolen items from Metro were being tracked by 3SI,  which provides action and intelligence to apprehend suspects through robust partnerships with law enforcement agencies in the region, according to court records.

Police were notified by the digital tracking company that the phones were moving south on 1-95. Law enforcement in Bensalem and Philadelphia were given a flash notice from the Bucks County Dispatch of the vehicle description, and registration, according to court records.

Police with guidance from the security firm continued to track the suspects via the stolen merchandise on I-95 and were subsequently notified Philadelphia Police from the 15th District had taken the suspects into custody via a car stop.

Bristol Borough Detective William Davis and officer Dino Lepore met with a trio of Philadelphia Police officers on the 6200 block of Torresdale Avenue, and  to identify the suspects and the stolen; cash, tablets and cell phones.

Less than a month later Mathis was released after a bail reduction hearing.

On the same day he agreed to the guilty plea for the cell phone store theft he also agreed to plead guilty to fleeing an officer, reckless driving and related traffic offenses for case filed in February of this year  by Middletown Township Police. Mathis as in the cell phone shop theft case.

Additionally Mathis  has open cases in Lower Southampton (January 2023) for theft related offenses; an open case in Bristol Township for (9/2022) in which he was formally charged (December of 2022) with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of accidents involving death or injury, multiple DUI counts and a slew of related alleged crimes. Those cases have yet to be fully adjudicated.

Sentencing was deferred by the court to a later date for the cell phone store case.


Hicks has four open Court of Common Pleas cases currently active. She is scheduled to appear on August 29th for all of her open cases which according to court records are theft related criminal activities. Online court records seem to indicate guilty pleas are expected. She was remanded back to Bucks County Prison where she will awaits her next court dates.

Ashley Hicks
Credit: Bucks County Sheriff’s Office







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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Man Charged for Possessing Kiddie Porn




A Bensalem man stands accused of uploading and saving pornographic images involving children to his Google account.

Michael Dunbar, 55, was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Michael W. Gallagher Thursday morning on one felony count of child pornography and one count of criminal use of communication facility with his bail set at 10 percent of $300,000.00.

According to Bensalem Police,  on Thursday, April 25, 2024, a cybertip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) was received.  The tip referenced a particular Google account that had uploaded and saved numerous videos depicting child pornography, including prepubescent boys and girls engaging in sexual acts with each other. Detectives began an investigation and were able to determine that the owner/user of the Google account was Dunbar.

On Thursday, June 20, 2024, Bensalem Detectives served a search warrant on Dunbar’s residence.  The suspect was interviewed, and he allegedly admitted to intentionally uploading child pornography into his Google account after finding the videos on the Dark Web.

Bensalem authorities did not comment about the results of the  executed search warrant.

Dunbar was unable to post bail as of early Friday morning and was remanded to Bucks County Correctional Facility. He is currently scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on July 2 and has no attorney of record presently, according to court records.


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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Wanna Help Police Find a Way to Cool This Alleged Thief’s Jets Off ?



It takes a certain kind of chutzpah too walk out of a big box home improvement store with just under $1000.00 in merchandise and leave without paying and what appears to be a grin on your face.

That is the case, Bensalem Township Police say happened last week at the Home Depot. 900 Rockhill Drive on June 10, 2024. and reported at approximately 7:30 p.m.

An unknown white or Hispanic male entered the store and selected two air conditioner units, a Dewalt Saw and a Milwaukee grinder, valued at $946.00. The suspect, exited the store without paying for the merchandise and fled the area in a black sedan, possibly a Mercedes Benz, Bensalem authorities say.

Please look at the photos closely. If you have any information regarding “this bandit’s” identity, please submit an anonymous tip here or contact Bensalem Police at 215-633-3719.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Twp Council To Vote On Volunteer Fire Company Consolidation Monday Night



Just under two years ago at a Bristol Borough Council meeting, officials were getting an update on the then planned fire company consolidation effort by Steve Reeves,  president of the Bristol Borough Fire Association. At the time, talk of consolidating fire companies in the borough and Bristol Township was a hot topic.

During his presentation Reeves mentioned consolidation talks of the Bensalem fire company volunteer services were also in progress. At the time tidbit was not in the public domain.

Credit: Submitted

Now after two years of planning, the Bensalem Township Council will vote on a resolution to form The Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department at its next meeting Monday night.

If the resolution is passed, the six legacy fire companies, including Cornwells, Eddington, Newport, Nottingham, Trevose, and Union, will be consolidated into one volunteer fire department. This consolidation plan is necessary to ensure adequate fire/emergency response within the township because of reduced membership amongst the current companies, a press release announced late Friday afternoon.

Credit: Submitted

Reeves knew what he was talking about at the time. Lower Bucks Source in the following days reached out to area first responder sources, officials and Bensalem area volunteer firefighters. No one anywhere would go on or off the record. LBS was directed, by Battalion Chief/Fire Marshal Robert Sponheimer, to the Deputy Director of Public Safety Robert Race who politely declined to respond to a request for comment at the time.

Credit: Submitted

Late last year, according to a Lower Bucks Times report, Bensalem officials spoke rather openly about dwindling volunteer numbers.  This led William McVey, director of public safety, to ask for council approval to apply for a SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant through FEMA, which was subsequently approved in November by council.

This past February the township announced the hiring of Mark Antozzeski as the first career Fire Chief in Bensalem history. He is leading the volunteer fire services, as well as Bensalem Fire Rescue, career staff. McVey told Bensalem the hiring was an important piece of the consolidation process.


Credit: Submitted

Earlier this month,  Nottingham Fire Department Chief Ron Harris was named the Bensalem Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Chief as part of the consolidation effort, according to published report. 

Credit: Submitted

Beginning Friday evening, shortly after receiving the Bensalem announcement on the expected consolidation vote, first responder sources Lower Bucks Source contacted said that back in 2022 when first contacted they declined to comment because the topic was sensitive in nature and a real possibility of backlash existed and concerns about “sabotaging” the process were also omnipresent. Those sources again declined to comment on the record.

Consolidation Efforts in Bristol Borough & Bristol Township

In February, Bristol Borough voted to consolidate their volunteer fire services. Prior to that step the borough approved applying for a Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grant in the amount of $1.5 to build a new fire house at a yet to be determined location.

As far back as February of 2022, a smaller plan in size and scope was being discussed in Bristol Township involving Newportville Fire Company #1, Third District Fire Company with career fire personnel from the township which came off the heels of  a fire study completed in 2020.  That plan is no longer in play, fire officials say. Third District Fire Chief Howard McGoldrick said it’s a “complete mystery” why Newportville ultimately decided against the discussed move and merger.

” Volunteer fire services in Bucks County are changing right before our eyes” one first responder said last year.

Credit: Submitted

In each of the consolidation efforts, public safety, declining volunteer numbers and increasing costs have been cited repeatedly by officials publicly.

“It’s just not sustainable anymore financially for fire companies, the municipalities they serve, and taxpayers. It’s consolidate or die”, a high ranking first responder source said Friday.

Bensalem Council is expected to pass the resolution with its vote tonight.

Editor’s Note:  Each of the images in this story come from the volunteer fire companies serving Bensalem Township.

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