Philadelphia police have reopened their investigation into the armed robbery of a Wissinoming grocery store last June after the prosecution dropped its case against a man initially arrested for the crime.
The district attorney’s office last month withdrew charges of robbery, theft, assault, reckless endangerment and possessing an instrument of crime against Scott E. Reiner, 43, of the 7400 block of Loretto Ave.
According to a police source, DNA evidence found at the scene did not match Reiner’s. Police have made no other arrests in the case.
The crime occurred June 28 at the Lisa & Charlie Market, 6017 Torresdale Ave. The robber entered the store, approached a female clerk from behind, placed her in a chokehold and pointed a black handgun at her chest, police said. The woman grabbed the gun and struggled with the bandit. He knocked her to the floor, but she held onto the gun, so he fled.
He was last seen running eastbound on Higbee Street, then southbound on Vandike Street.
Detectives obtained surveillance camera video of the suspect and released it publicly. Soon after, someone called police and identified the man in the video as Reiner. Officers arrested and charged him on July 1.
On July 19, a Municipal Court judge postponed Reiner’s preliminary hearing because the defense attorney was tied up in federal court on an unrelated case. On Sept. 6, the district attorney’s office requested another postponement because the grocery store clerk failed to show up in court to testify.
On Oct. 20, the defense requested a third postponement, along with “further investigation” of the case, court records show. After the DNA evidence came to light, the prosecution dropped all charges on Jan. 6.
Meanwhile, authorities have charged another man with an unrelated robbery of the same grocery store last June 14.
James Brock, 33, address unknown, allegedly pulled a knife and demanded money from the same clerk, who gave him $60 in cash. The robber fled on a bicycle, said police, who arrested Brock on July 5.
Brock is awaiting trial in that case, along with a second robbery that occurred on June 29. ••EndFragment