Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



________________NEWS RELEASE
State Senator

1st Senatorial District
Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman
Room 545 Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA 17120
Internet Website:

PHONE: 717-787-5662


PHILADELPHIA, March 16, 2000 – Victims of Center City vehicle break-ins who testify to the crime in court will receive compensation for their appearances through a new fund sponsored by State Senator Vincent J. Fumo (D-Philadelphia.)

Fumo announced the pilot program at a news conference today with District Attorney Lynne Abraham, leaders of the Delaware Valley Citizens Crime Commission, and Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner John Timoney. The Crime Commission will administer the program.

“Too many repeat offenders wind up back on the street because the victims fail to appear in court to testify,” Fumo said. “Often, it is because the victims must take time off work and face parking expenses and the other inconveniences of coming to court.

“This will help in a small way to compensate those who appear to testify.”

To qualify, witnesses must appear in court when necessary until the case is concluded. They will receive $75 per day for each appearance, up to a maximum of $300 per case.

The program applies to vehicles that have been broken into (not stolen) in the Center City Police Districts, the Sixth and the Ninth.

An arrest must be made, and the victims must cooperate with the district attorney until final disposition of the case. The vehicle also must have current registration and insurance coverage.

Vehicle break-in is the most frequently committed crime in the Sixth and Ninth Police Districts, and the rate is higher there than in any other section of Philadelphia. Last year in those two Center City districts, there were more than 4,000 vehicle break-ins, or about one-fourth of the break-ins in the entire city.

“Vandalism of automobiles is a major crime affecting the quality of life in Philadelphia,” Fumo said. “Arrests and prosecutions are extremely difficult, so we hope this compensation program results in more of these criminals being punished.”

Fumo and the Crime Commission have teamed up on several other occasions in recent years to fight vehicle-related crimes. In 1998, they created the Chop-Shop Tip Line, to which people can call anonymously to report locations where stolen vehicles are disassembled for the sale of their parts. They receive a reward if their tip results in an arrest.

Later that year, they created a grant program for owners of frequently stolen types of vehicles in high crime areas of the city. Such owners can purchase the Lojack Recovery System at a discounted price.

Fumo’s state Senatorial District includes Center City.

The Citizens Crime Commission of the Delaware Valley, founded in 1955, is a non-profit organization supported by corporate sponsorship and its own fund-raising activities. It has more than 100 members in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.


Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo