Store owner fights back cross-dressing thieves

April 13, 2011 3:43:38 PM PDT
The owner of a Northeast Philadelphia grocery store had received bad checks before and wasn't going to let it happen again.

The store's cashier was also ready.

"I recognized him before, and they come different times of the week and in groups of two. So, you know, it's more than one," cashier Adairis Romero said.

Three suspects came into the store on the 6600 block of Castor Avenue yesterday.

In surveillance video, Romero can be seen behind the check cashing counter as one of the suspects comes to the window, dressed as a woman, wearing a wig and a scarf.

Police have now identified that man as 27-year-old Tristan Rabb of Pemberton, New Jersey.

Romero, and the store owner, Jose Victor, are immediately suspicious and stall for time.

Victor leaves to get his son and another employee and Romero calls 9-1-1.

After he's confronted, Rabb tries to grab for the check and the fake I.D. he handed over.

Victor and others then grab him.

Rabb struggles violently and the three men have trouble controlling him.

The fight rages until the police show up.

As reported yesterday, one officer responding to the robbery call lost control of her cruiser and crashed into a parked car.

The police say she suffered minor leg injuries and will be OK.

Victor suffered cuts and bruises.

Rabb's two accomplices escaped, although police later found their car two blocks away.

Victor believes the same gang has passed $25,000 worth of bad checks at his store.

He works hard for the money, and can't afford to lose it.

"A lot of work a week. Seven days, 13 hours," Victor said.

The police continue their investigation as well as the hunt for Rabb's accomplices.