Just saw this thread. Are you still using Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 Windows? I ask since SG seems to be addressing your question relating to Premiere Elements 11 or 12 locations.
Please confirm whether you are using Photoshop Elements 8 or Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 when you have encountered this problem. I ask since Premiere Elements (any version) crop involves a Crop Panel with slider adjusts.
Please supply more details.
In this first screenshot, the clip is selected/highlighted and we see the Edit header/Video Effects/Transform/ and Crop choice route before we click Apply to the effect.
In this next screenshot, we see the image immediately after we click apply to the Crop Effect.
Now to Crop to our specifications, we go to Edit Effects at the bottom of the Transform Video Effects. When
we click on that we see the Properties Palette for your video clip, including the Crop Panel expanded showing
the sliders that you adjust to make the crop (top, bottom, left, and right).
So, you can see why I am puzzled when you write about Cropping in Premiere Elements 8.0/8.0.1 and a "triple crop".
After you review the above, could you supply more details?