In October 1974, Phillips and Det. Sergeant Taylor responded to a tip-off that Billy Walker was holding stolen jackets from the Mark Brittain Warehouse in a van he was servicing at the Canal Garage. When the jackets were found, Billy was taken to the police station and questioned by Taylor, while Phillips investigated the circumstances of their theft from the warehouse storeroom. Warehouse executive Ken Barlow and storeman Fred Bolton were surprised to find the items missing, which cast suspicion on Fred as it was his job to know where the stock was. Phillips suspected that Fred and Billy were middle men but only had evidence to charge Billy. Just before Billy was charged, Fred told the police that his son Tony and Paul Meggitt were the real guilty party, having previously protected them.
Phillips next visited the Street three months later, now a sergeant, when he questioned the residents following Lynn Johnson's murder inside No.9. His queries particularly concerned the movements of Ray Langton and Jerry Booth and Len Fairclough just before the murder. Phillips also interviewed Roy Johnson, who swore that he never hit his wife and loved her. Len became the prime suspect due to a shaky alibi, but eventually Clifford Fenton corroborated his story and Roy confessed to killing his wife.
Phillips returned to the area for the final time in February 1977 to investigate Janet Barlow's suicide by barbiturate poisoning. Phillips questioned Ken Barlow at length about the status of his relationship with his estranged wife, their last conversation before they went to bed (separately), and how he found her body. Phillips told Ken that, contrary to his story, raised voices were heard from No.1, indicating that a row had taken place, but the matter was not pursued further. He also asked Rita Littlewood and Emily Bishop about Janet's manner when they saw her the day before she died. His questioning exacerbated Emily's guilt at not noticing Janet's depression.