Police: Robbery suspects blame hunger for crimes

October 27, 2011 2:53:17 PM PDT
Philadelphia Police say they have caught a team of serial robbers who claim they committed their crimes because they were hungry.

More than a dozen robberies over the past two months have been tied to the four suspects.

None of the four had ever been arrested before now.

"They said they were hungry. They said they were doing it for food," said Capt. Ben Naish of the Philadelphia Police Department.

But instead of going to a food bank, police say the three men and a 17-year-old boy went to city stores, armed with guns.

In just two months, they allegedly held up 18 stores at gunpoint all over the city.

The spree ended Saturday night after they allegedly robbed a drug store in Southwest Philadelphia.

Police credit two patrol officers, Robert Hoover and Michael Minor, who spotted the suspects shortly after the robbery. They grabbed two of the suspects and recovered three guns after a foot chase.

Police are relieved the spree ended before someone got shot.

"You would always think that the danger is there that, at one point, one of these guns is going to go off and somebody's going to get hurt. So, there's a great level of relief," said Capt. Naish.

The adult suspects are 38-year-old Marvin Gibson, 19-year-old Anwar Mitchell and 21-year-old Jackson Doggette.

Police say they saw themselves as thieves with a conscience, targeting stores because they wanted to take money from companies instead of people.

None of them have prior criminal records. Now, police say they're in the major leagues.

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