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UPDATE: Hatboro Police Release Sketch of Armed Robber

An armed robbery on Monday caused the Crooked Billet Elementary School to be locked down.

An apartment robbery on County Line Road spurred to alert administrators at to prevent anyone from exiting Monday morning, police said.

Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner said the robbery occurred in the 200 block of East County Line Road at 10:09 a.m. A 30-year-old resident of the Livingstone apartment complex reported that as she was entering the common entrance to her apartment building she observed a black male sitting on the stairway in the building. As she walked to her apartment with her 2-year-old daughter, the male allegedly confronted her, presented a knife, and pushed the woman and child into their apartment and shut her door.

Police said he demanded money. The victim surrendered an undisclosed amount of money and the subject left the apartment in an unknown direction of travel.  

The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 40 years of age, tall with a thin build. He was last seen wearing a black hat, black hooded sweat jacket with a zipper, black pants and black boots. The victim said the suspect looked as if he were homeless.  

Hatboro police were assisted in searching for the suspect by officers from the Warminster Police Department and Upper Moreland Police Department, including an Upper Moreland canine unit. The was notified of this incident as the apartment complex is in close proximity to Crooked Billet Elementary School. 

School officials said the school was briefly locked down for about an hour Monday morning.

Administrators secured the building and kept all students indoors until further notice was given by emergency personnel. Administrators implemented Crooked Billet’s Emergency Management Plan to respond to the lockdown and help its students, educators and staff members manage the situation.

At 11:30 a.m., police lifted the lockdown and normal activity resumed at the school. Crooked Billet parents were notified via e-mail blast Monday morning.

“Our morning kindergarten students were safely dismissed and students were able to enjoy outdoor recess activities,” Crooked Billet Elementary Principal Kári Davita King-Hill said in a press release. “All students remained calm during the lockdown and continued to work in their classrooms.”

Anyone with any information concerning this case is asked to contact the Hatboro Police Department at 215-675-2832. Police advised not to confront this suspect as he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Tara March 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM
Kudo's to Hatboro for thinking quickly & keeping everyone safe during the search!
J.R. sr March 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM
...and the cancer continues to spread.....
Sean Patrowich March 27, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Another robbery in Hatboro, in broad daylight, and another one gets away. Town watch anyone?
Kevin McCourt March 27, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Town Watch is an excellent idea!
Concerned resident March 27, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Yes I agree a townwatch is needed before the crime in Hatboro continues to get worse and worse!
terri d March 27, 2012 at 02:29 PM
It's been here ...and nothing is done about it .. how does one just walk away down a busy street and no one notices? just like Burdicks in Jan. - invisible man? can't find them if the police just sit in a car in Lukoils parking lot
Sean Patrowich March 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM
My question, how supportive would Hatboro be of a Town Watch? Basically, many people are criticising Hatboro's ability to keep the lowlifes and crime out. And would people actually take part and contribute? Would parents get upset if it's some of their kids causing trouble? I've never looked into it too deeply so I can't say what goes into it.
Dolores Forget March 27, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Count me in for a Town Watch --- it is disturbing to know we now have another armed criminal wandering around. We need to make it more uncomfortable for those who are up to no good. Any thoughts on how to organize this?
Concerned resident March 27, 2012 at 08:33 PM
I would definitely take an active part in a town watch. There have also been a string of robberies in Warminster, but there is nothing indicating that they are related. I think what the Town Watch does it raise more awareness. Drive around and look out for possible situations, then report them to police. The job of town watch is just to be more aware of what is going on in the area... right now I think most people keep to themselves and think nothing happens in Hatboro, but unfortunately, there is a false sense of security here. Crime happens everywhere, maybe not as much here than in the city of Philadelphia (bear in mind, there are many more people in the city) but it still happens and the citizens need to be mindful of it.
Sean Patrowich March 28, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Some info. http://www.townwatch.net/JOIN.html
Bruce Coleman March 30, 2012 at 05:58 AM
A town watch is a great idea. I throw newspapers for a living and am on the road 7 days a week 365 days a year. I know the streets just as well as the cops and know what and who is out of place. I have called the p.d. many of times and am correct 99% of the time. People you know what your seeing is not right so don't be afraid to call them. What we don't need is a bunch of half cocked vigilante yahoos running around.
Toni Kistner March 30, 2012 at 11:35 AM
Hatboro and Horsham have a Citizen's Police Academy at the Horsham Twp. building a few times a year....
European American. March 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Where is the media outrage? Yet another black man commits a crime against a white person and no one says a thing. It's disgusting. Maybe it's racist to acuse a black person of committing a hate crime. Sickening.
Becky March 30, 2012 at 03:38 PM
Oh Jared stop it! Crime is crime. It doesn't matter the race. It all needs to end!
Kathy Leaycraft March 30, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Hatboro Police already has an "electronic neighborhood watch" at it's disposal. www.nixle.com is FREE for police departments to use, and free for us to sign up and receive alerts of any kind. Yet, Hatboro's last "alert" was in January (and they've only posted 3 alerts). Upper Moreland Police us this system to send alerts of many kinds - downed trees, lost dogs, burglaries, etc. Not only do they have the eyes and ears of anyone who has email or a cell phone, but the people in UM feel good knowing that they are kept informed of what's going on in their neighborhood.
Sean Patrowich March 30, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Toni, I know about Horsham citizen Police academy, it's useless for helping keep out town safe. I live the idea of alerts but if Hatboro won't use it what's the point?? Since nobody seems to want to take the lead on Town Watch, i know I brought it up and would be a part but taking the lead is going to take time I don't have by myself but maybe a few of us take different parts? Just an idea. But any ideas if how we get Hatboro to start using the alert system?
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) March 30, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Hi Sean and Kathy, I know Hatboro had used the Nixle system regularly, but as per a discussion the chief had at a council meeting last year, Nixle was going to start charging for alerts, I believe all except text message alerts. I think that's why the borough no longer uses it. I receive the alerts from Upper Moreland and they come through now as texts. They had previously been sent out by email.
Theresa Katalinas (Editor) March 30, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Toni, It started earlier this month and goes through May. I'm not sure if any spots are still open or not. I know it's Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Horsham Township Community Center.
Pat Hood March 30, 2012 at 05:43 PM
There is town watch in certain areas in Hatboro. I know this because i am part of it but it is only certain times for patrol. The problem is that people just don't want to get involved or care until something happens to them or someone they know and then they want to complain about nothing being done. People should get involved and be more aware and call the police with ANYTHING suspicious. It takes everyone to care and not just some.
bob livewell March 31, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Agreed jared....this town is going down the tubes recently ......i know if obama had a son or brother he'd look like the suspect ......bless his heart.....maybe he has some bills to pay......
Kathy Leaycraft March 31, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Hi Toni, The only info Nixle has released is that is may start charging businesses. "When asked to elaborate on the changes ......, company officials .....mentioned plans to charge businesses and companies for mass-messaging service but did not state plans to charge police departments." To stop using this service while it is still free, and might remain free for police departments, is ridiculous. I'm sure I'm not the only one who didn't know there was an armed robbery in Hatboro this week, very close to where I live, until a friend saw it on the news and called me. P.S. I still receive my Upper Moreland alerts via email.
Beaulahbb March 31, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I talked to someone in upper Moreland Hatboro has to pay to be on nixel it is no longer free. Upper moorland pays for the service. Where is the town watch in Hatboro? Ms Leah raft do you work for the borough? You seem to know a lot about the borough.
Beaulahbb March 31, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Do you follow the real media lately (not this biased site) and what occurred with town watch in Florida let's leave the policing to the trained cops. More people need to call when they see something and let the professionals handle. The cops don't need untrained people getting in their way.
Sean Patrowich March 31, 2012 at 07:41 PM
Beaulahbb, what would a town watch hurt? How could citizens looking out for their neighborhood beca bad thing? And you can't use Florida as a reason. One person does not represent the whole. Because if I turned it around and said, look what happened in (name a big city) where a black guy killed (name another race)! That's the dumbest thing I've read on here. And I would love to let the police do their job, have they caught the guy who robbed the mother or the guy who robbed Burdicks? They couldn't control the teens enough so the township stopped first Friday. Please
frankly frank March 31, 2012 at 08:01 PM
A professional police force and a town watch can coexist and enhance the community. Vigilantism will always be a possibility regardless if you have a town watch or not. Given the recent amount of violent crime and the unfortunate actions of one officer can someone tell me why a third party review would not be done? Recommendations and leadership alterations could make a difference. No room for stubborn prided when it comes to community safety.
Leave the cops alone March 31, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Why are there no comments about all the crime on the neighboring patches, it is only on this one. It is the same people attacking council and the police department. Btw Hatboro is not a township it is a borough. And the chamber cancelled first Friday not the township, I mean borough. Ask the chamber why because the past president of the chamber ran them in the poor house and they couldn't pay for the added services, now the taxpayers have to bail them out and take them off main street where they belong and give them reduced rent in Boro hall and still support all their events, so give council and the police department a break.
Sean Patrowich March 31, 2012 at 08:52 PM
What's that have to do with more violent crime in Hatboro? And fine, we can call it a "Borough Watch"
frankly frank March 31, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Why does the taxpayer have to pick up the cost of a failed chamber? Sounds like a pay back to me. Either way it’s bad politics. Picking on the cops? Please. We should demand the best from all our public employees and not settle for less and turn our head. That’s what got us into this situation.
Concerned resident April 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I agree with Pat. People should be involved in the town watch but no one wants to get "involved" - then when something bad happens they'll be the first to complain!
Kathy Leaycraft April 01, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Beaulahbb, thank you for confirming what Nixle is not saying on their website. Depending on the price, I still believe Nixle is a very, very effective tool for crime prevention, catching the "bad guys" and keeping residents informed. Did your contact in UM tell you how much they pay for the service? No, I don't work for the Borough.

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