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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Retail Theft Leads to Arrest of Felon With Firearm

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Credit: Bensalem Police

Bensalem Police were dispatched Wednesday to a retail theft in progress by a male and female at the Walmart on Horizon Boulevard. This was not just an ordinary retail theft. Not only were the couple arrested for retail theft, but the male was arrested for other charges including possession of a firearm. 

The police arrived on the scene at 8:37 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. The Walmart employees told police that a male and a female were inside the store concealing items in Walmart bags that they had brought with them, said police.

As the male suspect exited the store, a police officer attempted to take Beau Booth, 41, James Street, Philadelphia, into custody. Booth began to resist and fight with the officer.  A second officer arrived to assist. Police said, when Booth was taken into custody by both officers, a Walther .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun was discovered in a small shoulder bag that Booth had on his person . It was fully loaded with the safety off.

Credit: Bensalem Police

Twice, Booth gave officers a false name before admitting to his real name.  According to officials, a criminal history check showed Booth had a felony conviction that precluded him from carrying a firearm. He also has active arrest warrants out of Philadelphia for a probation violation on an assault, a Bucks County warrant for flight to avoid prosecution, a Montgomery County warrant for fleeing and eluding, and a parole warrant for a robbery out of Harrisburg.  He also had a Walmart bag with the stolen items inside and pills that were not prescribed to him, police said.

A short time later, the female, Kathryn Stewart, 32, Fitzgerald Street, Philadelphia, exited the store and was taken into custody.  She also gave police false names twice before police discovered her real name.  A check of her name revealed that she had an active warrant out of the Bucks County Sheriff’s Department for a parole violation on a forgery charge.  She also had stolen items from Walmart in a bag and a glass pipe that is commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, said police.

Credit: Bensalem Police

Court records show Booth charged with three felony counts; prohibited firearm possession, carry of firearms without a license, and retail theft. He also was charged with lesser related charges   He was arraigned by District Justice Gary Gambardella and remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility on 10%/$270,000 bail.

Stewart was charged with retail theft, receiving stolen property, false identification to law enforcement, and narcotics violations.  She was arraigned by District Justice Gary Gambardella and remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility on 10%/$25,000 bail, shown in court records.

Their preliminary hearings are set for May 23, 2024. 

Credit: Submitted

Ms. Joanne Ames is a Falls Twp resident who handles financial transactions, and for feature and important stories copy edits content when she's not working her other job as retail manager at a local cigarette/vape outlet. Ames' free time is dedicated to hanging out with her "Mom" ensuring she is cared for, comfortable, and loved at all times. Ames is also a crazed Eagles fan and who spends much of her Sunday's reminding LBS Publisher/Editor Jeff Bohen "The Giants Suck.." Ames recently has gotten the reporting bug and is in the midst of preparing for her first big story.

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Cops, Courts & Fire -Bensalem Township

Bensalem Man Charged for Possessing Kiddie Porn

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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 ?

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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

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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 Patch.com 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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