by: Loretta Rodgers.
Aston Township Police Officer Joseph Hart was presented a commendation of merit during the May 20 board of commissioners meeting for exemplary police work in recognizing and apprehending an alleged serial robbery suspect.
On April 10 at 7:45 p.m., Aston Township police responded to the Concord Pet Supply on Pennell Road for a report of a robbery. Police received information that a white male in his early to mid 20s with a reddish beard wearing gray shorts and a windbreaker style jacket handed an employee a note that read, “I have a gun. Give me all your money.”
The employee emptied the register in a brown paper bag and the actor departed on foot. An extensive search of the area netted negative results.
On April 12 at 10:40 a.m. Aston police responded to the Pet Kraze Store on Pennell Road for another robbery that had just occurred.
Police received information that a white male in his mid 20s with red facial hair wearing a hoodie and gray sweat pants was the robber. Again, a note was handed to an employee that read, “ I have a gun. Give me all your money.”
The employee emptied the money into a brown paper bag and the actor fled the area on foot. A search was conducted which netted negative results.
Based on the description of the actor, it was determined he was the same person who robbed Concord Pet on April 10.
On Monday April 13, at approximately 8 p.m. Hart was on routine patrol on Pennell Road in the area of the former Blockbuster Video. He observed a dark colored SUV parked near the store. He then saw a white male walking toward Pet Kraze. He obtained the vehicle registration and learned the owner was Kevin Crosby of West Chester.
Hart watched the subject who began to pace. After a few minutes, Hart pulled his police cruiser near the person. He noticed that the individual matched the description of the perpetrator of the robberies.
Hart apprehended the man and placed him in custody. During the search, the officer located the demand note used in both robberies.
Crosby is also wanted in connection with three additional robberies: two in West Goshen and one in Bucks County.
“I am convinced it was Crosby’s intention to rob Pet Kraze for a second time and he was stopped by Officer Hart,” said Aston Police Chief Dan Ruggieri. “Due to Officer Hart’s keen observation and attention to detail and along with good old fashioned police work, a serial robber was apprehended and removed from our community. Officer Hart, you are a great credit to the Aston Township Police Department and to our community. You are to be commended for a job well done.”
Ron Temple, owner of Pet Kraze was on-hand to express appreciation to Officer Hart.
“With so much negative publicity surrounding police departments recently, I thought it was quite appropriate to recognize Officer Hart on a job well done,” Temple said. “I am impressed with Officer Hart and with all the officers of the Aston Township Police Department… Officer Hart was proactive and in doing so he took a criminal off the street. Thank you very much Officer Hart.”