Friday, June 7, 2024

In Philly, Even The Cops Get Robbed

Broad & Liberty ran my piece on the armed robbery of two Philadelphia police officers.

 You can read the piece via the below link or the below text:

Paul Davis: In Philly, even the cops get robbed (

In Philly, Even the Cops Get Robbed

By Paul Davis

 Although I believe Philadelphia’s new mayor and police commissioner have made a good start to turn back the tide of lawlessness in the city — with or without the cooperation of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry “Let ‘Em Loose Larry”’ Krasner — a couple of recent crimes illustrate that they still have their work ahead of them.

The cases I refer to are the assault and robberies of two off-duty police officers. If an armed off-duty cop can be assaulted and robbed on the street, what chance does an average citizen have? 

Last month, an off-duty Philadelphia police officer was robbed and shot at in Kensington. The police reported that the off-duty cop was standing by his car when a man armed with a gun came upon him. The cop handed over his valuables and then ran off. The armed robber chased the cop and fired shots at him. The cop turned and fired back. The armed robber then got into a car and drove off. 

The police don’t know if the armed robber was hit by the cop’s bullets, but thankfully, the cop, a seven-year police veteran, received only minor injuries. 

Also last month, another off-duty cop was assaulted and robbed of his personal gun on the 2100 block of West Oxford Street as the officer was trying to go home after work.

A car and a rowdy crowd from an after-hours club that poured out into the street were blocking traffic. The officer, an eight-year veteran, got out of his car and asked the crowd to clear the street so he could get by. The off-duty cop was then assaulted by one of the men in the crowd. The cop identified himself as a police officer, flashing his badge.  

The man who attacked the officer brandished a gun and a second man, who was reportedly 6’8’’, joined in with others on the assault on the officer. A shot was fired but no one was injured. 

The police then arrived on the scene and the crowd dispersed.  

I reached out to a veteran detective I know and asked him what he thought of the robberies of off-duty cops.

“Hey, cops are human too,” the detective said. “If a bad guy gets a drop on a cop, or they are attacked by a gang, they are just like any other victim, even if they are armed and carry a police shield.”

The detective told me he deals with victims of armed robbery and other violent crimes all the time.

“It’s a sad duty, but I have to question these victims, shook up and traumatized as they are. These violent events, which only last a minute or two, will affect them adversely for the rest of their lives. Even a hardened cop will be affected if victimized, maybe even more than the average Joe.”   

The detective said people should be aware of one’s surroundings at all times. He suggested that people should not be distracted by looking at their cell phone while walking the street. Bad guys are attracted to distracted people in the way a shark is attracted to blood in the water. 

“Always trust your instincts,” the detective said. “If something doesn’t feel right, get the hell out of there.” 

Over my many years of covering the cops, I’ve heard a good number of police officers offer advice on how to avoid being the victim of armed robbery. 

One should also show confidence when walking down a street. This sends a message that you are not likely to become a victim, and the crook might even think you are carrying a legally concealed handgun. (A cop once told me that crooks fear armed citizens more than armed cops, as the citizen is more likely to open fire quickly). 

Be alert. Take the time to see who is walking around you. Look out for suspicious people. Try to walk on well-lit streets and populated areas. Avoid shortcuts up alleys and through parking lots and garages.

When walking towards your car, or from your car to your residence, have your keys in-hand. 

Certainly, never openly show large amounts of money, excessive jewelry and electronic equipment, which will tempt an armed robber.

Don’t use an ATM machine at night if you can help it. Predatory armed robbers lay in wait for potential victims to withdraw money at night in lonely places.

Remember that there is safety in numbers, so always try to walk with a friend or a group of friends.

Anyone with information about the robbery and assault of the two off-duty police officers, or any crime, should call the police. To submit a tip, call or text 215-686-8477. You can also email a tip at

According to the Philadelphia Police Department, if you are reporting a crime in progress or require emergency service, dial 911. If you’d like to submit an anonymous tip to the police, you can do it via phone, email, or using an online form.

Include as much information as possible, such as the physical address and the names of the people involved. If you would like someone to follow up with you directly, include your contact information. 

Paul Davis, a Philadelphia writer and frequent contributor to Broad + Liberty, also contributes to Counterterrorism magazine and writes the “On Crime” column for the Washington Times. He can be reached at

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