This One's No Urban Legend! - NBC 10 Philadelphia

This One's No Urban Legend!

Robber preys on local drivers



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    Reading police warn drivers to be on the lookout for a man claiming to have car trouble. He's held up half a dozen people who were nice enough to give him a ride.


    Reading Police have arrested the suspect wanted in a string of Good Samaritan robberies in the Reading area.

    An officer spotted the man around 8:00 p.m. on the 100 block of Lancaster Avenue in Reading.

    Police said he has been linked to at least four of the incidents.

    Surveillance Video of Man Robbing Local Drivers

    [PHI] Surveillance Video of Man Robbing Local Drivers
    Reading Police are warning people to watch out for a man who is duping them with his hard-luck story, then robbing them.
    (Published Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2009)

    They have not yet released his name.

    It’s one of those stories that sounds like an urban legend, but Reading police warn: it’s the real deal. A man is convincing local drivers to help him out, then robbing them. He's held up six people in the past week and a half.

    Here’s his routine:

    • The man approaches drivers, claiming he has car trouble.
    • He convinces them to give him a ride into the city.
    • If you say yes, he gets in the car, usually shows you he has a gun and then robs you.
    • He’s forced two victims to get money out of ATM’s.
    • Then he gets his victims to drop him off in the same general area, at 9th or 10th and Franklin streets.
    No one has been injured in any of the holdups.

    Police say two of the victims picked the robber up in West Reading, one picked him up in Muhlenberg Township and three picked him up in the city of Reading.

    The robberies have happened at all times of the day and night. Police describe the suspect as a black man between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall with a medium build. Another man was with him in two of the early holdups.

    The latest holdup was about noon Tuesday in the city, the second holdup in less than 12 hours. Another person was robbed Tuesday about 1 a.m. after he picked up the man outside a fast-food restaurant in Muhlenberg Township and gave him a ride into the city, police said.