COLLINGDALE, Pa. (CBS) — Thursday started out as a bad day for a woman who works at PCMR Check Cashing in Collingdale, Delaware County. Just after 8:00 a.m., as she was opening the store for business, she was forced inside by a man with a gun.
But in just minutes, it would turn into a bad day for her attacker.
Police say a woman driving by on MacDade Boulevard noticed the confrontation and drove right to the Collingdale Police station, where she found Collingdale Police Chief Robert Adams in the parking lot.
“We were literally a block away, we radioed for cars,” he said. “Within a matter of 10 seconds, we had the building surrounded.”
Police say they could see the would-be robber inside the check cashing business, running from window to window as he quickly realized his situation. He was later identified as Jerrel Robinson, 28. According to authorities, he tried to escape through an exhaust fan in the bathroom but the sink he was standing on collapsed.
About a half hour after the ordeal began, police say Robinson released his hostage.
“The young lady who works in the store came walking out with her hands up, no shoes on, no pocketbook, crying,” Chief Adams said.
She left the door open behind her, so officers from the Delaware County Emergency Response Team were able to swarm the store and take Robinson into custody without firing a shot.
Chief Adams says without the warning from the woman driving by, the situation could have been much worse. Robinson didn’t even have a chance to open the business’ cash register.
“Obviously she [the employee] was a hostage, she could have been killed,” he said. “If I knew who she [the driver] was, I would buy her dinner,” he said.
Eyewitness News was able to track down that Good Samaritan, who also asked not to be identified.
“It just didn’t look right,” she said. “I knew the check cashing place wasn’t open that early.”
She said she doesn’t feel like a hero; she’s just glad the employee is safe.
Police are now investigating to see if Robinson is responsible for other robberies in Folcroft and Philadelphia.
Reported by Ben Simmoneau, CBS 3