Police have confirmed the arrest of one suspect connected to a string of armed robberies in East Falls and Germantown.
Jamal Perkins, 21, of the 5300 block of Newhall St. in Southwest Germantown, was charged last week with 11 counts of robbery, aggravated assault, and related charges.
Perkins was already in police custody in relation to a prior robbery arrest, according to police and court documents. In addition to the current robbery charges, Perkins is also awaiting adjudication on an incident from 2012 for contempt of court. He was previously found guilty on charges of drug possession with intent. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 2. According to court records, Perkins remains in custody at the Philadelphia Industrial Correction Center on $250,000 bail.
At present, police are not releasing Perkins’ image due to the ongoing search for an accomplice who participated in most of the robberies. This suspect, who remains at large, is described in earlier police reports as being a black male in his early 20s.
String of armed robberies
Perkins’ alleged crime spree began on April 4 with the attempted robbery of a cab from the Germantown Cab Company not far from his Newhall Street home. After threatening the cab driver, police say Perkins fled the scene and nothing was reported taken.
Three weeks later, Perkins surfaced in East Falls, allegedly robbing a female complainant of her cell phone at gunpoint on the 3400 block of Tilden St. on April 22. Four days later, a Philadelphia University student was robbed of his cell phone and laptop at gunpoint.
Two weeks later, on May 6, police say Perkins struck twice, taking an iPhone on the 3300 block of Bowman St. and, three hours later, another iPhone from a victim on the 400 block of W. Woodlawn St. in Southwest Germantown.
The following weekend, Perkins again doubled down, taking a cell phone on the 3200 block of Cresson St. in East Falls and allegedly firing a gun into the air, according to police. The next night, a few blocks away on the 3300 block of Midvale Ave., Perkins and his accomplice took yet another iPhone, along with a white MacBook and an iPad.
The robberies continued, with additional incidents in East Falls on May 25 and June 1. In addition, Perkins and company expanded their horizons in May, robbing a would-be SEPTA patron in East Mt. Airy and a cab driver in Germantown.
Increased police presence
To catch Perkins, additional police resources were deployed to East Falls for several weeks. Numerous residents remarked upon the highly visible police presence in both patrol vehicles and on bicycles. In addition, local police officials said that plain clothes officers were also in place.
Captain Michael Craighead of the 39th Police District did not respond to NewsWorks’ requests for comment.
Captain John Fleming of the 14th District said that he was especially thankful for the efforts of officers and commanders from the Northwest Detective Division, which he described as being “above and beyond.”
“To clear this many robberies is really impressive,” said Fleming.
Told of the apprehension, East Falls Town Watch President Mary Jane Fullam expressed relief that one of the alleged suspects was captured. Her organization has closely monitored the unfolding crime spree since its April onset.
“We’re glad that the police apprehended one of the alleged suspects,” she said, urging residents to “stay on guard” as at least one additional suspect remained at large.
“The more people that call 911 with information the better off we will all be,” she said.