On Sept. 30th a South Side neighbor reported on Facebooks Crime in Pottstown page that they observed drug deals going down at 359 New St. A group of guys who rent/hang out at that address are often seen, (innocently enough), tossing a football back and forth in the street waiting for their customers to drive up. Drive up, deliver through the window of the vehicle, drive away, toss the football…
What could be more convenient? New St. is kind of a quiet little street where drug sales can easily be conducted in the middle of the street without much notice – OOPS but they’ve been noticed and neighbors are collecting license plate numbers and car descriptions:
Per Zillow: 359 New St. Pottstown a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1200 square foot home on 1900 sq ft lot. Bought in 2006 for $90,0000. Zillow estimate for rent is $1100 a month.
Per Zillow: 3010 Peacock Dr. Audubon, Pa is a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath, 3000 square foot home on 1/2 acre with pool. Worth $474,000.
A Facebook commenter had this to say:
“Looks like the kind of home where teenagers toss a lacrosse ball in the front yard, not a football in the street”.
Matthew’s FB timeline tells a story, in photos, of two smiling couples – husbands and wives – on vacation in Playa del Carmen and Riveria Maya Mexico in June, 2013.
Can you guess who these happy couples are? Go on guess…..
<Jeopardy_-_Thinking_Music.> If you guessed:
Mark Flanders, Former Chief of Police / Current Pottstown Borough Manager & Matthew Crouse – you’d be correct.
How likely is it that they just happened to “bump” into each other in Mexico? Mexico is a big, big place.
Matt has a history in Pottstown of renting properties to drug dealers and junkies, rental houses that, in some cases, should be shut down for codes violations and gross conditions: (tenants have contacted the Cockroach about their circumstances, they refer to Matt Crouse as a slumlord).
Matt recently defaulted on his properties at King And Washington Sts, (dba: Lotus Properties), after stripping the historic building of its original interior and selling the old bar, sending it to upstate N.Y., before Malvern Fed. Savings took possession of the building.
This recent facebook reveal of what appears to be a friendship between the income investor and the Pottstown Borough Manager…
On the heels of disclosure, earlier this year, about former Zoning Work Leader Michelle Borzick Fry and her indiscretion in accepting a check from income investor Frank McLaughlin for her personal use, well…
These are the things that make you go “hmmmmmmm”
Is the Wolf guarding the Sheep while the chickens in the shabby henhouses are breaking all kinds of laws and wreaking havoc in the farm yard? Where the heck is the Fox in this mix?
On Facebook an observer notes:
“I can’t find a thing about the two “side businesses” he <Matthew> runs out of his “McMansion”. He does hang with borough leaders like Flanders and knows other slumlords like Deb Lacava Campbell, maybe they are silent partners? Inquiring minds want to know.” AND… Meanwhile, back in the reality that is Pottstown, the repercussions of the “Royal Rumble at Ricketts” and associated car shootings are front page news.
Around the same time in June, 2013 that Matt Crouse and Mark Flanders were taking a vaca together in Mexico, Pottstown was plagued by the usual criminal stupidity that comes of having far too many slums/section 8 rentals, too many negligent income investors riding the taxpayer gravy train accompanied by Pottstowns infamous lax leadership, limping codes department and a police department that simply doesn’t have the capacity to handle the increasing crime, relying on nearby departments to pinch hit…
“Mr. Crouse owns four rental homes in the vicinity of that shooting and, well, the other gentleman, our Borough Manager, I know that everybody deserves a vacation…I’m sure they were both concerned about this incident.” FB comment
Concerned? Maybe. But, neither Matt or Mark LIVES in Pottstown – they don’t have the same “skin in the game” as you do and, those nice holidays in Mexico? You’ve picked up the tab. Pottstownians have been far more gracious than their circumstances would warrant.
You piece together a semblence of order in your noisy, trash and crime filled environment – against all the odds – odds that just keep getting odder and odder.