Police say one of the stolen devices had a tracker, and that helped authorities follow the suspects' car.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police tracked suspects from a robbery at a South Jersey cell phone store to Philadelphia, where three were taken into custody.
Neighbors in Northern Liberties were told to stay in their homes as police searched for the suspects.
"It was just scary. There's always stuff going on in the city, but typically not right here," said one neighbor who declined to provide her name.
It all started around 8:30 p.m. Monday at a Verizon store on Route 73 in Voorhees Township, Camden County.
Police say four men entered the store.
They were armed and made off with $30,000 to $40,000 worth of cash and electronics.
Police tell Action News three employees were tied up during the robbery.
Police say one of the stolen devices had a tracker, and that helped authorities follow the suspects' car, a sedan with Florida plates.
They tracked the sedan across state lines into Philadelphia.
"They were able to track the vehicle in real time and with the use of the police helicopter," said Lt. Adam Reed with Pa. state police.
Reed said those hidden trackers can be accessed immediately and hard to find.
"From the would be criminal perspective it's very hard to tell where those tracking devices are and if they're located, and where they're located," said Reed.
Philadelphia police raised their helicopter, using infrared to help follow the suspects.
"We started hearing a lot of sirens, and then I noticed through the blinds we started seeing spotlights from the helicopter," said Alisa Berenato of Northern Liberties.
When the vehicle got to Northern Liberties, officers were able to box in the vehicle around 5th Street and Fairmount Avenue.
"Police stopped them at the end of the street, and the car was trapped. The guys jumped out of the cars and took off running, but one of them hid underneath one of these cars," indicated a neighbor named Bruce, who declined to provide his last name.
Police say four suspects bailed out, and three were caught.
Police K9s were brought in but one suspect remains on the loose.
"I just saw what looked like half of Philadelphia's police force outside," said Joe Millard of Northern Liberties.
No description has been released of the fourth suspect.
No injuries have been reported.
"From what we saw, I think the police did a really good job. It was really scary," added Berenato.