by Sue Ann Rybak

Police arrested three alleged thieves involved in a vehicle break-in during an undercover surveillance operation at a parking lot off Forbidden Drive on June 4.

According to Officer Julian Russell, a spokeswoman for the Philadelphia Police Department, at approximately 6:25 p.m., two plainclothes 14th district officers observed the defendants arrive in a beige 2007 Lincoln.

According to police reports, Daniel Duncan, 33, of West Philadelphia, allegedly got out of the Lincoln and looked into a parked car. Police arrested after they observed him attempting to use a screwdriver to pry open the top of the driver-side door. Police also arrested two alleged accomplices: Aja Whetstone, 32, of Sharon Hill and Kisha Duncan, 35, of Lansdowne.

At a community meeting last year, Captain John Fleming of the 14th police district said car break-ins along Forbidden Drive have been a problem for decades. Fleming told attendees that he is increasing patrols through altered deployment tactics and undercover surveillance operations.

Earlier this year, police urged local residents to report property crimes such as car break-ins. Police said one of the difficulties of stopping car break-ins is that residents don’t report them. Fleming said by reporting thefts from autos or other property crime, allows police to target hotspots.

Fleming’s efforts to deploy officers using various deployment tactics and undercover surveillance are paying off as evidenced in the recent arrests of Whetstone and the Duncans.

All three defendants have been charged with theft and other related charges.

According to police records, Daniel Duncan, who has prior arrests for car-theft and drug charges, is currently in custody at the Curran Fromhold Correctional Facility. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 19.

Both Whetstone and Kisha Duncan were released from custody and have hearings scheduled for July 10.