Husband, Wife Charged in Kidnapping, Robbery of Elderly Woman

By David Chang
|  Wednesday, Apr 2, 2014  |  Updated 8:32 PM EDT
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Couple Charged in Robbery of Elderly Woman

Philadelphia Police

A surveillance photo of the male suspect.

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A husband and wife were arrested on Wednesday after they allegedly kidnapped an elderly woman and forced her to withdraw thousands of dollars from her account.

The 80-year-old woman told police she was walking towards the Salvation Army on 5th and Market Streets around 12 p.m. on Monday when she was approached by a woman, later identified as 51-year-old Lorpu Korlewala.

Police say Korlewala told the victim that she had money she wanted to give her. The two women were then joined by Korlewala's husband, 57-year-old Vickson Korlewala, who also told the victim he had money for her, according to investigators.

The victim says she became scared and told the suspects to leave her alone. The suspects allegedly followed her as she tried to walk away.

Police say Lorpu then went inside a green-colored Saturn SUV with a New Mexico license plate and drove it towards the victim. Vickson then allegedly forced the victim inside the vehicle.

Once she was inside the SUV, both suspects then asked the victim which bank she used, according to police. Investigators say the victim told them she used Citizens Bank and the suspects drove towards the branch at the Penrose Plaza on the 2900 block of Island Avenue.

The victim and the two suspects then went inside the bank and approached an employee, according to police. The victim says she asked the employee to withdraw $8000 from her account.

Vickson allegedly told the employee that the money was for the victim’s sister who had just passed away.

After the employee brought out the cash, Vickson allegedly pushed the victim’s hand away, took her money and placed it in his pocket.

Police say the suspects and the victim then left the bank and drove towards the Verizon building at 57th and Chestnut Streets. Vickson then allegedly pushed the victim out of the car and drove off with his wife, fleeing east on Chestnut Street.

Credit: Philadelphia Police

On Wednesday, both suspects were arrested at their home on the 5500 block of Market Street after an officer recognized their vehicle, according to investigators.

They were both taken into custody and charged with kidnapping, robbery, theft, simple assault and other related offenses.

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