By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia police now say as many as ten armed and unarmed robberies could be linked to the same bandits — targeting victims after they left the SugarHouse casino in Fishtown.
And police are now trying to identify a person of interest seen in casino surveillance video.
Victims in nine of the ten robberies are Asian and, in the two most recent cases, victims — including a pregant woman — were shocked with Taser-like devices and subsequently hospitalized. (Police say the victims have recovered.)
Northeast police captain Jack McGinnis says the person of interest is “standing in all five (videos of apparently related incidents). He happens to be there when they are cashing out, standing at the cashout thing. He is walking by them, watching them, talking on the phone, and then leaves immediately afterward.”
Capt. McGinnis says two other men then follow the victims, using a Taser, bricks, or brute force to rob them.
Some cases that may be linked date back months, but the recent cases and the taser incidents help police put together the pattern.
“These robberies are happening no where [near] a casino. They are happening in front of their homes. And we have street robberies, as you know, all the time. So it wouldn’t be an easy pattern to put together,” explained captain McGinnis.
One couple was robbed of over $18,000; in another case the robbers got away with $10,000.
Police posted some of the surveillance videos on their web site, phillypolice.com.