By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Two Pennsylvania lawmakers were in Philadelphia today pushing for passage of legislation that would toughen the penalties for home invasions.
State representative John Sabatina’s version of the bill would slap a mandatory five-year prison term on someone who breaks into a home with the intent to commit a violent crime.
“And if you do it to our most vulnerable citizens, those 62 years and older, it’s ten years,” Sabatina says.
Under state senator Mike Stack’s proposal, the five-year mandatory term would only be applied in cases where a gun is used in a home invasion.
Both lawmakers were joined at the police administration building by Philadelphia DA Seth Williams and police commissioner Charles Ramsey.
Ramsey says the number of home invasions in the city has soared over the past few years.
“Last year in Philadelphia there were 747 home invasions,” he said. “Thirteen of those home invasions resulted in a homicide.” So far this year, he says, there have been 251 home invasions, with eight homicides.