Three charged in Bustleton home invasion

Police have made three arrests and are searching for additional suspects in connection with the home invasion robbery of an 88-year-old Bustleton man on April 12.

Investigators believe that the victim had prior contact with at least one of the defendants, a woman who knocked on the front door of his home on the 9600 block of Chapelcroft St. at about 3:30 a.m. When the victim opened his door to greet the woman, two unknown men appeared and forced their way inside the property, police said.

The intruders assaulted the elderly man, bound him with tape and a telephone cord and ransacked the house. They stole his .38-caliber revolver, a safe containing $30,000 in cash, jewelry valued at $200,000 and his baby blue 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood. The victim did not seek medical treatment.

About four hours later, police found the stolen car parked unattended on the 3200 block of Emerald St. in Kensington. While watching the car, the officers allegedly saw a man exit a nearby house, get into the car and start the engine. Police arrested him and identified him as Edwin Lopez, 28, of the 1700 block of N. Fourth St. Police seized more than $4,000 cash from him. Around the same time, police also saw a man attempt to enter the same house from the rear and detained him, although he was later released.

During a subsequent search of the house, police allegedly found the victim’s safe and additional cash. They also found a woman in the backyard and arrested her. She was identified as Brooke Branigan, 26, of the 2200 block of Amber St.

On April 13, police were called back to the Emerald Street house when a woman reported that she had been assaulted inside. While responding to the emergency, police found jewelry that had been stolen in the Chapelcroft Street robbery. Officers arrested the woman in connection with the robbery. She was identified as Jennifer Maleski, 40, a resident of the Emerald Street house. ••

— William Kenny