TEEN ACCUSED OF KIDNAPPING HAS POLICE RECORD, 17-YEAR-OLD FROM WILLOW GROVE HAS THREE PRIOR CONVICTIONS FOR SIMILAR INCIDENTS AT SHOPPING CENTERS
Thomas Harrington, a 17-year-old Willow Grove boy, was charged last week with kidnapping awoman from an Upper Moreland shopping center and has three previous convictions stemming fromsimilar incidents, all at shopping centers in neighboring Abington Township. Harrington, whoturned 17 on Tuesday, the day of his arrest, had been convicted as a juvenile for a June 18, 1995,attempted abduction at a Kmart parking lot, a similar August 20, 1995, incident at Bloomingdale'sin Willow Grove Park mall, and a June 5 assault in the T.J. Maxx parking lot at the AtriumMall. The victims, all relatively young women, were able to escape. Harrington has beencharged as an adult with kidnapping and attempted involuntary deviant sexual intercourse. A36 year old Langhorne woman had left a children's clothing store at the Marketplace center and wasabout to enter her Mercedes when a young man approached her. The young man pulled out aknife, forced the woman into her care and told the woman to act like nothing was wrong or he wouldkill her. Another motorist saw the woman, who waved and mouthed the words help me. Inside the car the assailant had exposed himself and was demanding oral sex. The motoristparked his car near the Mercedes' passenger door and got out. The assailant saw him and ranaway. Harrington was identified in a photo display by the motorist. In June 1995, whenHarrington was 15, he approached a woman who was getting into her car in a Kmart parking lot. Claiming he had a knife, he forced her inside and climbed over her into the passenger seat. The woman ran from the car back into the store and Harrington fled. Police said he had beeninside the store previously and was recorded on a video camera. About two months later,Harrington approached a Bloomingdale's employee who was smoking a cigarette near a mallentrance. He tried to get this woman to come with him but she told him she had to get back towork. The woman later identified him through the Kmart video. He was arrested and puton probation. In June of this year, he tried to accost a woman in the T.J. Maxx parking lotas she entered her car, but she was able to slam the car door shut and drive away. Investigators identified Harrington from a fingerprint he left on the car.