The same convenience store has been held up numerous times in recent weeks by masked men and owners are serious about finding the suspects.
The most recent robbery at the Wawa store at Bustleton Pike and Levick Street in Northeast Philadelphia's Oxford Circle happened on Monday, January 15. Police say a man standing about 5-foot-10-inches tall and carrying a semi-automatic handgun entered the store as customers were inside early that morning.
In surveillance video released by police, you see the man -- wearing a black hood or shirt over his face -- run towards the entrance with a black bag covering his gun. As he enters the store around 1:40 a.m. he points the gun at employees and forces his way behind the counter. The employee hands over money from the register and the suspect grabs a carton of cigarettes before fleeing the store.
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The man left through an employee exit and then jumped a fence onto the rear alley.
Luckily no one was hurt.
A $5,000 reward was offered nearly two months ago for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a masked man who robbed the same Wawa store more than once before. The reward was increased to $10,000 after the January 13 incident.
Today, that total reward was upped to $25,000. The reward is being offered by Wawa in conjunction with the Citizens Crime Commission and Northeast Philadelphia Police Detectives.
"We have increased the amount of the reward with the hope that we can expedite bringing the perpetrator of these crimes to justice," said a press release from Wawa.
Since October the store has been hit four other times by masked robbers.
An armed man, wearing a “Scream” mask like the one worn in the horror-movie franchise, entered the store on Nov. 26 and demanded money, according to Philadelphia Police. An employee handed over an undisclosed amount of cash from the registered and the masked man fled from the store.
Police officers at that time told NBC10 that they believe this same suspect struck the store before -- captured on surveillance video.
It's unclear if the thief in the most recent incident is the same person.
The earlier thefts also featured masked robbers coming in between 3 to 4 a.m. and demanding money. In an Oct. 1 incident, two masked men burst into the store and made off with cash. Then, on Nov. 4 a masked man made off with cash from the register.
Finally, on Nov. 21, a man in a "Scream" masked burst in and demanded money.
A nearby Wawa store on Krewstown Road was also held up in late December.
Wawa says it has taken measure to try and prevent thefts at its stores: "The safety and security of our associates and customers is of utmost importance to us. Our priority is always to ensure the safety and security of our associates and our customers at this store, and we have been pursuing all avenues..."
Anyone with information should contact police and/or call Northeast Detectives at 215-686-3153.