Armored truck heist in Philadelphia leads to SWAT situation, shelter-in-place in suburban Ambler

Thursday, March 21, 2024
Armored truck heist in Philadelphia leads to SWAT situation, shelter-in-place in suburban Ambler
Armored truck heist in Philadelphia leads to SWAT situation, shelter-in-place in suburban Ambler

AMBLER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The community of Ambler was under a temporary shelter-in-place Tuesday night after an armored truck heist in Philadelphia led police to the quiet suburban neighborhood.

The shelter-in-place has since been lifted and Ambler Borough police say there is no danger to the public.

It all started just after 1 p.m. Tuesday in Philadelphia when three people held up an armored truck driver in East Mount Airy, injuring the driver and taking her gun.

Philadelphia police say a security guard for Loomis armored truck was robbed at gunpoint in the 6900 block of Stenton Avenue.

The security officer was struck over the head with a weapon, and money and her handgun were taken. There was about $2,500 in the bag she was carrying.

Nelson Hernandez, who was working at Metro PCS, told Action News he was there when what should have been a typical cash pick-up turned violent.

"They got her before she got to the truck," he recalled. "They hit her outside, I didn't see it but she had like a big hole in her forehead. And it was consistently pouring out blood. It was not a good sight at all."

Hernandez brought her inside and locked the door as they waited for authorities.

"I did what I had to do. I did what anyone would have done: opened the door and locked it behind her, and didn't let her back out to the scene. Just, thank God she is okay," he said.

Officials say the truck bandits were able to flee the scene in a gray Ford Taurus.

The armored truck security officer was taken to a local hospital.

That's when the search for multiple armored truck bandits began.

Ambler police got involved after learning of a possible lead for a suspect there.

Officers were called out to a residence on North Street near Lindenwold Avenue around 7 p.m., where multiple SWAT units surrounded a Montgomery County home.

Officers could be seen going into a rear shed with their guns drawn but came out empty-handed and cleared the property.

Chopper 6 overhead as SWAT surrounds home in Ambler on March 19, 2024.

Police were also flying a drone overhead, which was being used to support the operation.

That's when residents were asked to shelter in place. Many told Action News they were sleeping when they woke up to alerts warning them.

"I got a phone call from the emergency alert system to stay in the house," recalled resident Peter Gallow.

He said he was stunned to see this scene in their quiet neighborhood.

"I saw about five or six helicopters and saw all this going on," Gallow said. "You typically don't see anything like this in Ambler. It's a pretty quiet town here."

More details about the situation have not been released.

No arrests have been made. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

RELATED: Check the 6abc Neighborhood Safety Tracker