Attacks on women in NE Philadelphia

March 19, 2009 3:07:31 PM PDT
Someone is robbing women in Northeast Philadelphia, and all of the victims have been over the age of 60.One investigator calls the suspect, 33-year-old Christopher Russell, a predator and a coward.

There have been at least seven, similar attacks in the Lawncrest and Lawndale areas. Officers add, he may be responsible for more.

The robberies started in September 2008, and the most recent was just last week. The attacks have also been increasing in frequency.

Police say Russell approaches elderly white woman as they enter their homes after shopping, assaults them, and takes their pocketbooks, money or I.D.

"It appears he picks his victims, follows them, stalks them until they get to their residence, ensures they're alone," said Lt. Frank Vanore of the Philadelphia Police Department.

All of the victims, ranging in age from 61 to 83 years old, say they've either been thrown to the ground and/or repeatedly punched.

Police say Russell has a gun, but has never used it.

Investigators add, Russell may be working with someone else. In once incident he was seen jumping into the passenger seat of a white sedan.

Police are also asking people to be aware of their surroundings, and to mix up their routines.

If you know where Christopher Russell is, you are urged to call police.

List of attacks:

  • September 12, 2008 at 12:26 p.m. in the 1100 block of Unruh Avenue.
  • January 11, 2009 at 8:05 p.m. in the 6700 block of Horrocks Street.
  • March 3, 2009 at 10:02 a.m. in the 5900 block of Algon Street.
  • March 3, 2009 at 5:07 p.m. in the 6300 block of Bingham Street.
  • March 5, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. in the 600 block of Benner Street.
  • March 12, 2009 at 12:03 p.m. in the 800 block of Passmore Street.
  • March 15, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. in the 2100 block of Friendship Street.

You can get the latest crime statistics from the Philadelphia Police by CLICKING HERE for the force's crime data mapping site.

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