Police knew the thieves who targeted 58-year-old Robert Chae were looking for cash, but say they never imagined the mastermind would be a member of his own family.
Three gunmen ambushed Chae and his wife as they were leaving for work from their North Wales home just after dawn on Friday, January 9th, according to police.
Mr. Chae was tied up, beaten and stabbed. His wife was ordered to open a safe and his two adult children, who were inside the home, were also bound.
Chae was tortured and ultimately died when the tape wrapped around his head and face suffocated him, prosecutors said.
25-year-old Angelo Shin, Chae's nephew and alleged plot orchestrator, is one of six charged in the man’s death. Police say they believe he was fueled by greed, promising his co-conspirators they would find $100,000 inside a safe at Chae’s home.
Shin's involvement shocked investigators. They said the man used to live with the victims after immigrating to the United States.
“He is a traitor to his family, his people. His treachery is the lowest kind ever seen. He got $2,000 to betray his family,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Risa Vetri Ferman said at a press conference Wednesday.
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Five others were involved with the robbery. Police say 24-year old Joseph Page, 25-year-old Amatadi Latham and 28-year-old Karre Pitts carried out the attack.
32-year-old Julius Wise and 33-year-old Robert Eatmen also helped to plan the robbery and acted as lookouts, police said.
Investigators have arrested four suspects, but Paige and Pitts are still on the run.
Search warrants were executed in Philadelphia and the arrests were made late Tuesday night, according to sources.
In recent weeks reward money has reached over $30,000 for anyone with information leading to the arrests of those involved.
Police said at first they feared the attackers who stormed the Chae home could have been the same group responsible for similar crimes in surrounding counties where Asian or Korean business owners were stalked and robbed of the cash they’d bring home from the days sales.
Police say they learned that wasn’t the case after an informant told them Pitts had been overheard talking about the crime.
According to police records, once Pitts was identified his cell record lead straight to Shin who confessed to the crime and helped police identify the others involved.
Shin is being held on $500,000 cash bail. Police are asking anyone who may have information on the two men still on the loose to call authorities.