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Police: Despite Recent High-Profile Incidents, Boalsburg Crime is Down

by on July 23, 2014 7:35 PM

While Boalsburg has seen serious crimes in recent months -- from an armed bank robbery to cemetery vandalism to a burglary and theft at businesses -- State College Police Chief Tom King says crime in the area has actually declined.

Boalsburg is part of Harris Township, which is inside the State College Police Department's jurisdiction. The township pays State College for police services.

In March, an unknown man robbed First National Bank in the 400 block of Boal Avenue.

In May, an unidentified person (or group) toppled more than 50 headstones -- and in some cases smashed them -- at the historic Boalsburg Cemetery.

Then about 12:40 a.m. July 14 someone stole roughly $1,000 from the self-service machine at Wash World Car Wash in the 300 block of Boal Avenue.

And this week – sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning – someone broke into Happy Valley Refreshments in the 400 block of Boal Avenue and stole roughly $3,400 in cash and checks.

King says these crimes occurred in a small bedroom community where such incidents are not common therefore they stand out. However, King says crime has actually dropped by 41 percent since 2010 in Harris Township.

"When we look at the whole township and we look at the whole year we're much lower than we were five years ago," King says. "But when you get the damage done to a cemetery, and you get a bank robbery, and you get a burglary, which happens so rarely in the township, it is very noticeable and we take it very seriously."

While the township contracts for a certain amount of police service hours per week, King says the department does not have constraints in terms of patrols and adds hours to Harris Township as necessary. In light of the recent crimes, patrols have been modified to catch those who committed these crimes and deter new crime, he says.

"We're adjusting our patrol schedules to better be in a position to maybe find somebody involved in these," he says.

Authorities also released images Wednesday of the suspect wanted for the car wash theft.

Authorities described the suspect as a white male, possibly in his 40's or 50's, who was driving a white Toyota van.

Anyone with information regarding any of the Boalsburg incidents can contact the State College Police Department at 814-234-7150 or through the anonymous tip line HERE.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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