Hostage released after standoff in Delco

COLLINGDALE, Pa. - August 11, 2011 A suspect is in custody Thursday night in Collingdale, Delaware County after a woman, who happened to be passing by helped police foil a robbery in progress at a check cashing agency.

Twenty eight year old Jerel Robinson of Yeadon is expected to be arraigned on charges of armed robbery.

Thursday morning, a passerby alerted Collingdale police saying a female employee of a check cash store had been forced into the store by a man.

The incident unfolded on the 700 block of McDade Boulevard in Collingdale, Delaware County - just two blocks from the police station.

It was around 8:10 a.m. when Collingdale Police Chief was approached by a woman and her child in a blue minivan. The woman informed him that she believed something was going on at the check cashing business down the street because she saw the female employee being pushed inside the store by a man.

Police arrived in seconds, and observed a man storming around inside the store.

Police Chief Robert Adams explains, "[Officers] could see in the store, and they could see a black male running around in the store, going from window to window. We could not see the female. We surrounded the building. We evacuated the building upstairs. Tried making phone contact with the building and there was no answer."

As more officers arrived, the man inside tried unsuccessfully to exit out a back window. Finally, the employee is released unharmed, and the would-be robber surrendered.

The chief has high praise for the passerby who alerted officers. "The woman who flagged me down, if I knew who she was I'd buy her dinner."

Police now know who that passerby was. She is a mother of five who asked not to be identified.

"I knew that the store wasn't open that early," said the woman.

The lady tells Action News that her cell phone wasn't working so she drove to the police station and alerted officers.

Police believe the woman's quick thinking was the key to the incident ending without violence.

The suspect has a criminal history, and may soon be questioned by detectives from other jurisdictions.

The suspect is in custody at this time. Police have also seized the suspect's vehicle - a rental car from Indiana.

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