Arrests made in robbery of vendor in Northeast Philadelphia


The incident happened on the 10900 block of Heflin Street around 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Police believe the suspects, 27-year-old Dan West and 22-year-old Randy Williams, followed the victim home from his newsstand about 12 miles away at Broad and Erie streets.

The duo, wearing hoodies, allegedly robbed the victim at gunpoint, stealing $4,000 in cash, cigarettes and scratch off lottery tickets, all from his SUV parked in his driveway.

"We heard his car, I mean he floored it," said Lou Venafra.

Neighbors described the terrifying moments in their quiet cul-de-sac after witnessing the car, that police believe was used in the brazen armed robbery, rocket down the street.

"Blew through the stop sign, kept on going straight through, blew the other one down the street and barely got around that circle," said Robert Knott.

An alert neighbor also spotted an Enterprise rental car sticker on the car.

"I'm shocked. I'm really shocked that it happened it his neighborhood, it has never happened like this before," said Sara Venafra.

Many neighbors had no idea men armed with a gun were just feet away from them.

Police responded quickly. After dispatching a partial plate they discovered the suspects in the alleged getaway car in Southwest Philadelphia on the 6100 block of Elmwood Street.

Police say the car was actually spotted by a 12th district mobile police camera/tag reader.

Once the suspects were apprehended, authorities found the stolen items inside the car plus the clothing used, the victim's prescription pills, black gloves, stun guns and the stolen hand gun believed to be used in the crime.

The victim got his stolen property back, after positively identifying the suspects.

Both men face a number of charges including robbery, theft and conspiracy.

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