Ain’t technology wonderful?
There are two Northeast men now under arrest on robbery, assault and weapons charges who probably don’t think so.
Police said Aldric “Chachi” Amelin, 20, and Joshua Cobb, 21, were arrested at Franklin Mills July 23 when police tracked them there through GPS on one of several phones they had stolen earlier that day.
According to Capt. Shawn Trush and Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum of Northeast Detectives, Cobb and Amelin robbed eight teenagers in three incidents that took place in the later afternoon to early evening on July 23.
According to Trush and Rosenbaum, Amelin and Cobb, who were armed with what turned out to be a BB gun, committed a street robbery on the 7200 block of Large St. in Castor Gardens at 5:38 p.m. They then moved in on six teens hanging out in front of the Rhawnhurst School at 7800 Castor Ave. at 5:56 p.m. Two of the teens tried to get away. One was struck in the head with a pipe; another was hit in a leg. Amelin and Cobb got the teens’ phones and valuables and moved onto another robbery on the 2500 block of Welsh Road at 6:02 p.m.
Meanwhile, officers responding to the robberies got information from the victims about their stolen phones. Some phones have apps that allow them to be tracked. Rosenbaum said the information was sent to the Police Department’s Real Time Crime Center in South Philly. One of the phones was tracked to Franklin Mills, where there is an Automated Purchasing Machine at which phones and other small high-tech items can be sold for cash.
Eighth District officers Mark Mazzoni and Daniel Richardson went to the mall and easily put Cobb, of the 1000 block of Bingham in Bustleton, in custody, Rosenbaum said. However, Trush said, they had to chase Amelin, who lives on the 1100 block of Hartel Ave. in Fox Chase, through a rainstorm as he raced into the mall parking lot.
They found him hiding behind some bushes, Rosenbaum said. Trush said Amelin later unsuccessfully tried to escape custody.
“Three robberies in 45 minutes and they were caught within the hour,” Trush said. “It was good police work all around.”
Amelin and Cobb are scheduled for Aug. 13 preliminary hearings. ••