After three armed robberies in University City Thursday night, two suspects are in custody but a third is still on the loose.
According to Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush, the suspects were involved in three robberies before their vehicle was spotted using surveillance cameras and stopped by Penn Police.
The string of robberies began at approximately 8:30 p.m. on the 4500 block of Sansom Street. Two people were robbed of a smartphone, a credit card and approximately $50 in cash after being threatened with handguns. The suspects then fled on foot going west.
The second robbery occurred at 9:01 p.m. at the intersection of 42nd and Ludlow streets, when a man unaffiliated with Penn was robbed at gunpoint. This was the only robbery inside of the Division of Public Safety patrol zone.
According to a release from the Philadelphia Police Department, the first suspect shouted “Give me your phone! Give me your phone!” and produced a black handgun. The second male then approached the victim from behind and told the victim to give up his cell phone.
Once the victim complied, he looked backed back and observed the two suspects driving away in a four-door, black Honda Accord. He reported the robbery to police and gave them the information about the getaway vehicle.
Police did not find out about the Sansom Street robbery until 9:09 p.m., after the victim at 42nd and Ludlow streets was robbed.
In response to the robbery on Ludlow Street, a UPennAlert was issued at 9:12 p.m. to the Penn community. Another UPennAlert was issued at 9:25 p.m. advising people to use caution and avoid the area until further notice. The notification that it was safe to resume activity in the area was sent at 9:52 p.m.
A third robbery occurred at 32nd Street and Powelton Avenue at 10:21 p.m., when five Drexel University students were robbed after the two males came up to them and produced handguns. The suspects took smartphones from each of the Drexel students, and then fled the scene in the black Honda.
None of the victims in any of the robberies were affiliated with the University.
The PennComm Center at DPS Headquarters on Chestnut Street combed through security camera footage in the area in an attempt to find the Honda. They succeeded when they saw it driving south on 40th Street and turning west onto Baltimore Avenue
Once the location of the car was found, Penn Police officers began to try to pull the car over. Penn Police Sergeant Chris Vandervort pulled over the vehicle on Baltimore Avenue between 43rd and 44th streets.
“This was an amazing response on the part of Penn Police and PennComm,” Rush said.
A man and a woman — both of whom are 25 — remained in the car and were arrested. Penn Police recovered weapons, as well as the stolen smartphones.
A third suspect fled the car on foot and remains at large.
Penn Police and the Southwest Detectives Division of the Philadelphia Police Department are currently investigating the case. They are trying to apprehend the third suspect, as well as determine if anyone involved is also affiliated with any other crimes.
Rush said there is no evidence that any of the suspects were involved in the robbery of an iPhone from a student that occurred on the 4000 block of Locust Street on Sunday evening.
The two suspects that were arrested were charged with aggravated assault and robbery, along with firearm violations and related offenses.
A previous article indicated that a robbery occurred at 42nd and Chestnut streets on Thursday night. The robbery occurred at 42nd and Ludlow streets.
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