Arrest in armed Northeast Philadelphia robberies

Pictured: William Brown

September 15, 2011 7:34:00 AM PDT
Police have made an arrest in a series of armed robberies in Northeast Philadelphia.

William Brown, 18, of the 3600 block of Rhawn Street, will be charged with robbery and related offenses.

Investigators say they were led to Brown after a tip caller recognized him from surveillance video released on Wednesday.

Police also say a 14-year-old accomplice was arrested.

Surveillance cameras captured the latest armed robbery inside the Asia Express Chinese Takeout in the 7200 block of Castor.

The video shows the man, now identified by police as Brown, walking into the store just before 11:00 p.m. Tuesday. He goes up to the counter and asks the price of fried rice.

Seconds later, the man in the video pulls out a handgun and demands money from the cash register.

The owner, Song Tang, was working and found himself face to face with that handgun as the young man demanded more and more cash.

"Give me your money, give me your money. I gave him the money and he said 'Where's more money?'" Tang said.

That robbery was the third in recent days where Asian business owners in the Northeast were targeted.

Outside surveillance video from Saturday shows the same man riding a blue bicycle to the Grace Dollar Store at 6900 Bustleton Avenue around 5:15 p.m.

RELATED: Watch the surveillance video released by police

A camera behind the clerks then picks up the man as he walks into the store and waits in line. When it's his turn at the counter, he pulls out a handgun and demands money.

He keeps pointing the gun at the clerks as the cash is handed over.

Then, with the wad of money in hand, he points the gun at someone off-camera before walking out.

The suspect is then seen leaving the store and getting back on his bike.

Police say he got away with $200.

Wei Lin's family owns the store. He was right there and so were other customers, including children, when the armed robbery happened.

"He just came in and showed a gun and then told me to give the money and when he got the money he just ran out," Lin said.

On Monday, about a block and a half away, at 3:40 in the afternoon, a nail salon was also robbed at gunpoint by a young suspect matching the very same description.

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