Armed thieves hit realty office

July 8, 2008 8:32:23 PM PDT
Philadelphia police are searching for the gunmen who robbed a Northeast Philadelphia realtor Tuesday afternoon. The employees were tied up, and given a real scare.

"It was very terrifying. They had guns to our head, I thought we were gonna die," one victim said.

Four employees were robbed at Salkin Realty, at 6903 Bustleton Avenue at 5 p.m.

They were just about to leave for the day, when two men walked in and started yelling at them.

"Get down, where's the money. Give us the jewelry. They ripped off my jewelry. They took money, wallets, cell phones, checks," a victim said.

The brazen robbers stole all of it after wrapping electrical cord around each employee, including the 88 year-old owner.

"They put us in the back room, tied us up, tore my pants open to get my wallet," he said.

In all, the thieves got away with about $700 in cash.

Police think they hit this property management business, an unusual target, likely hoping to get rent money.

"So maybe they were hoping to collect the rents from over the long holiday weekend," said police Lt. Joe Jackson.

Most of the rents are in fact, paid by checks these days.

And -- the business no longer uses the safe the suspects searched.

The owner says he called 9-1-1right after the robbers ran away.

"I'm shaken, but thank God I'm still alive. I didn't get shot," he said.

"I'm very surprised they didn't shoot us. It was that traumatic."