String of armed robberies hits East Falls neighborhood

On Saturday night, an East Falls street was blocked off by police, the scene of the latest in a string of robberies that have taken place in the hillside neighborhood in recent weeks.

Police report that on May 11 at approximately 11 p.m., a complainant was robbed on the 3200 block of Cresson St. The complainant was stopped by two suspects who took the complainant’s cell phone at gunpoint. After the robbery, police at the scene said that one of the suspects reportedly shot a firearm into the air.

The suspects, both described as being black males, were last seen fleeing toward Conrad Street via Sunnyside Avenue. No injuries were reported.

String of armed robberies 

According to police reports, this is the fourth such armed robbery that has occurred since late April.

The first in this recent slew of armed takings occurred on April 22. Police records indicate that at 5:15 p.m., a man armed with a black handgun robbed a victim of her cell phone on the 3400 block of Tilden St.

The suspect, described as being a black male, 18 to 20 years old, fled east bound through an alley after the heist. He was said to be chased by a second black male who never returned to the scene.

On Apr. 26, a Philadelphia University student was walking westbound at 9:50 p.m. on the 3800 block of Midvale Ave. when he was approached from behind by two males. Brandishing a semi-automatic handgun, the suspects took a wallet, a cell phone, and a MacBook laptop.

The first suspect was described by police as being a black male of unknown age, approximately six-feet tall, with light complexion, facial hair, and wearing a red hoodie at the time of the incident. The second suspect was not observed by the victim.

On May 6 at 8:10 p.m., a male complainant was on the 3300 block of Bowman St. when he was approached by a suspect who pointed a black handgun at him and said “Give it to me,” according to the police report.

The complainant unlocked the keypad of his iPhone and gave it to the suspect, who fled eastbound on Bowman and then Northbound on Vaux St.

The suspect in this incident was described as being a 5’7″ black male, aged 21 to 25, wearing a black hoodie and dark jeans at the time of the robbery.

Two arrests made; no clear connection to past robberies 

While police have not announced any arrests in these episodes as of Monday afternoon, one recent robbery in East Falls resulted in arrest after quick action by both victim and police.

On May 3 at 7:25 p.m. a female complainant was walking at the intersection of Kelly Dr. and Ferry Rd. when she was approached by a group of four black juveniles who grabbed her iPhone from her hand. While fleeing, the suspects dropped the iPhone which was recovered by the victim, who then called police.

The suspects were positively identified by the victim shortly thereafter and were placed under arrest. Police did not indicate a connection between this incident and the other armed robberies. 

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call Northwest Detective Division at (215) 686-3353/54, the tips hotline at (215) 686-8477 (TIPS), via text to PPD TIP (773847) or electronically through www.phillypolice.com.

For those interested in speaking with police about these robberies and other neighborhood concerns, a 39th District police/community meeting will take place at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 14 at the East Falls Town Watch headquarters located at 3540 Indian Queen Ln.

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