String of South Philadelphia armed robberies has residents, store owners worried

Police in South Philadelphia are investigating three armed robberies over a 30-minute period. A fourth holdup took place at a local gas station the day before.

It was a scary scene inside a South Philadelphia convenience store Monday night as two masked men stepped to the counter to buy something, pulled out their guns and announced a robbery.

"They go to work and somebody points a gun at them. It is heartbreaking. What kind of world do we live in?" asked Vincent Emmanuel, with Delaware Valley Franchise Owners Association.

Surveillance cameras rolled as two gun touting suspects fled to a blue car in the parking lot at 23rd and Passyunk, then made a clean getaway. Now South Detectives say they’re looking at a string of three armed robberies in just 30 minutes Monday night, including one at a Dollar Tree store on Oregon Avenue and another one at 30th and McKean.

"This happens to be the time of year. We do see a bump, an increase in robberies and we’re on it," stated Captain James Kearney, with South Detectives.

"We still have to live here and be safe and feel safe," remarked Cynita Jernigan.

Jernigan lives in the same South Philly neighborhood where the robberies occurred. She stops in to pick up a few items several times each week. She worried the robberies will continue.

"It scares me. It could be me. It could be my mother, it could be one of my kids walking from my house to my mother’s house," Jernigan added.

An Uber driver was outside the 7-11 Wednesday polishing his SUV before heading off to work. He lives nearby and stops at the store all the time.

"Any robbery is bad. By any nature, robbing is bad. It’s a crime," the Uber driver commented.

Store owners are hoping police will step up patrols and investigators will track down the suspects quickly, before anyone gets hurt.

"A cop can walk in there any minute. What is it then? A shootout," Emmanuel said.

"This is a serious crime and South Detectives will be working with Southwest Detectives to apprehend these offenders," Capt. Kearney added.


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