Man indicted for cell phone store heists

A federal grand jury has indicted a man whom Philadelphia police linked to more than a dozen hold-ups at cell phone stores in the Northeast and elsewhere in the city last year.

U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger announced the charges against Samuel Robinson, 29, of Philadelphia, last Thursday. Robinson is accused of robbing Metro PCS stores at 6443 Frankford Ave. and 4229 N. Broad St. last Oct. 28. The indictment does not cite any other hold-ups.

Philadelphia police arrested Robinson as he fled the Broad Street robbery, a department source said. Investigators had been aware of a string of similar crimes dating to last July. In some instances, the robber struck multiple times in the same day, first in the Northeast, then later in North Philly.

So, after the Oct. 28 incident on Frankford Avenue, local police contacted their counterparts in the Northwest Division, which set up surveillance on several stores in that area. Sure enough, the robber allegedly showed up at the Broad Street location, which is about a block from the Roosevelt Expressway. Police picked up the chase as he fled the store and arrested him in a nearby alley.

The grand jury charged Robinson with two counts of robbery and firearms offenses. ••