Police seek "dangerous" serial bandit

April 29, 2008 4:10:49 PM PDT
Philadelphia police have released surveillance video of a serial bandit who's been linked to at least 16 armed robberies, and they are concerned that he is becoming more aggressive. Police say he first struck in December but now he is staging his holdups more and more often.

All of the attacks have taken place in Northeast Philadelphia and Lower Bucks County. His most recent holdup may have been Monday night at a Wine and Spirit Shoppe in Morrisville.

In each case, the bandit has brandished at least one gun. He has ordered victims to tie each other up with duct tape or plastic wires. He then orders the manager of the store to open the safe. The suspect has only been caught on camera without his mask once.

"At some point he's going to pull the mask on, or pull his hoodie tight. He's been doing that outside the store and we want people to watch for that," said Inspector David Jardine of the Philadelphia Police.

The suspect has struck at three Rite Aid stores, two Dollar Tree stores, three Auto Zone stores, and three Wine and Spirit Shoppes. He also hit a hair salon and a pizza parlor.

He is described as between 20 and 30 years of age with a Spanish accent and a thin build.

"He's a very dangerous criminal and we're worried about him," said Philadelphia Police captain Jack McGinniss.

Police believe the suspect may have had help in the most recent holdup: a getaway driver.