Check-cashing owner shot during robbery

February 19, 2009 5:54:12 PM PST
The search for suspect is continuing, but police have recovered $100,000 taken during a violent robbery.

Regular customers of the check cashing business on Cheltenham Avenue near 5th Street in Melrose Park were disturbed by news that the owner had been shot by robbers.

"I come to him mostly this time every week to cash my little checks and stuff. He's a good man," said Lillian Crum.

Police say when the owner approached the front door to open the business just before 10:00 Thursday morning, a man and a woman approached him. At least one was armed.

"The victim was probably followed to his check cashing agency and robbed in front of store," explained Cheltenham Deputy Chief Kevin O'Brien. "They came up behind him and shot him in the leg."

Police stopped what they suspected was the getaway car based on witness accounts and arrested the driver after a short foot chase.

A second car was spotted a few blocks from there along with the briefcase that was stolen from the business owner. The case was apparently filled with upwards of 100-thousand dollars he had just picked up from a bank. Police did not find the gun or the other suspect.

The business owner was taken to the hospital in good condition, according to police. Authorities have not released his name, but friends and long time customers identified him as Joel Goodman.

"He's such a good guy. I've known Joel Goodman for many years. He would help anybody. It's just sad to hear that a good person got hurt doing his job," said David Silver.

People describe Goodman as a businessman who is guided as much by his heart as by his bottom line. "He's just a good man. He helped my son and my wife. He helped everybody out you know," said Calvin Hamilton.

"You go there, he will lend couple dollars to help you out and other things he does for people. He gets people jobs in neighborhood. He's kind of like a leader," said Judy Libohorszky.

Goodman was recovering at Einstein Medical Center on Thursday night.