Former NE man arrested for violent carjackings

Saunders

A former Northeast man has been arrested by suburban police in connection with two violent carjackings at the same Wawa gas station in Trevose recently.

Bensalem Township police released surveillance video soon after the most recent attack, which occurred last Sunday at 6:20 p.m. at 2250 Lincoln Highway, just beyond the Philadelphia city limits. In that incident, a woman patron had just finished pumping gas into her car and was sitting in the driver’s seat. When she attempted to close the car door, a man grabbed the door, held his hand over the woman’s mouth, told her to keep quiet and attempted to enter the car, pushing her toward the passenger seat, police said.

The woman resisted and sounded her car horn, alerting other patrons to the trouble. The others intervened and chased the robber away, through a nearby office complex. Police did not report any injuries.

Police later determined that the same unknown man had used a knife to commit another carjacking at the same location on Dec. 30. Shortly before 2 a.m., he pointed a knife at a patron and ordered him to drive his car to several ATMs in the city where the robber forced the victim to withdraw money. Police did not disclose how that incident concluded, but no injuries were reported.

On Monday, Bensalem police announced an arrest in the case, identifying the robber as Amir Saunders, 22, a homeless man. He was charged with kidnapping, robbery and related offenses. He is being held at Bucks County Prison on $750,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing.

Online court records do not reflect Saunders’ latest arrest, but records from a prior assault case listed Saunders as a resident of the 19135 ZIP code in the Tacony/Wissinoming area at the time. That offense occurred in February 2011 in Bucks County. Though originally charged with felony aggravated assault, Saunders ultimately pleaded guilty to four counts of simple assault and disorderly conduct so that the more serious charges were dropped. He was sentenced to three to 23 months in prison, along with probation and a financial penalty. Upon his release, he ultimately defaulted on his payments, in May 2013, violating his probation. ••