PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - On the streets of Fairmount, in the shadow of Center City, neighbors like Melissa Page are on edge after a string of strong arm robberies Monday night raised concerns.
"This is very alarming, both for the community and also for the families in the neighborhood," she told FOX 29 Tuesday night.
It started on 19th Street near Fairmount Avenue around 6:30 when a 27-year-old man walking to a corner market was approached from behind by four teenagers and punched in the face. He started to run, but dropped his phone. The teens picked it up and followed him into the market demanding his password as he asked someone to call 9-1-1, according to police.
"It just makes you more cautious about protecting yourself, especially because it gets darker earlier now. You gotta be extra careful," Valencia Phillps said on her way home from work.
Ten minutes later, a block away on 19th, a 35-year-old man was approached by teens. They asked to use his phone while simulating they had a weapon in their pocket. They pressed something against his ribs, stole his iPhone 5, and demanded his password, according to police.
Page is glad to have her dog Rosie with her.
"That does tend to help no matter what size. I think having a dog with you can help," Page added.
"They need more cops around I guess," another resident said.
25 minutes later, a 36-year-old man was approached by teens on nearby 22nd Street. Police say they threatened to shoot him if he didn't turn over his phone and wallet. A 9th District officer spotted the robbery in progress and chased down a 14 and 15-year-old. Police say they are charged with robbery and assault. .
"School kids, yeah I heard about downtown too what they done. They need to stop. They really do," local resident Kevin Mason told FOX 29 .
Two teens were arrested overnight. They will be charged as juveniles. Police have identified several other teenagers. No one was seriously injured in the robberies. Extra patrols were in the area Tuesday night along with undercover officers.