PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) - It was Sunday night just before closing time when three suspects walked into Macy's at the Moorestown Mall and helped themselves to over $5,000 in high-end Ralph Lauren polo jackets then made a clean getaway, according to police.
Fast forward to Tuesday night on the 2900 block of Turner Street in North Philadelphia. That's where FBI agents and police staked out a stolen infinity SUV parked on the block when four men walked up and got in. The violent crimes task force moved in and arrested them.
Investigators tell FOX 29 that the stolen SUV is believed to be the same getaway vehicle used at the Moorestown Mall in Sunday night's big rip off at Macy's.
The suspects were taken right to FBI headquarters by investigators probing a recent string of smash and grab robberies, including a $50.000 rip off at Boyds clothing store on Chestnut Street and another smash and grab at Macy's in the Roosevelt Mall on the Boulevard a few days later. The suspects stole $16,000 in Movado watches there, according to police.
"Huge concern. You have individuals that are striking like this in multiple incidents," Philadelphia police spokesman Lt. John Stanford told FOX 29 recently.
The Rav 4 SUV used to smash the plate glass windows at Boyds was found torched near Turner Street right after the robbery. Days after the Roosevelt Mall heist, a Mereceds Benz getaway car was also found torched.
"It's a dangerous situation because typically when you have a robbery they can explode at any point in time. That's our concern," Stanford said.
Sources say the four men taken into custody by the FBI are persons of interest in the Boyds and Macy's robberies along with several others in recent months. They refused to cooperate with FBI agents and were held at police headquarters on charges related to the stolen SUV. Moorestown police charged 3 of them in the Moorestown Mall coat theft Wednesday evening.
"These guys seem to be professional. This is not the first time doing this," Stanford added..
The three suspects were ordered held on $20,000 cash bail each in the Morristown Macy's heist. They were awaiting arraignment here at police headquarters on the Philadelphia charges. They may also face charges in Abington on related investigations. They have not been charged in the Boyds and Macy's robberies.