Three men were arrested Friday night in connection with a string of four armed robberies at local Popeyes and Chipotle restaurants that began July 26.
Caught with a handgun, a large amount of marijuana, assorted pills, and various masks, the suspects were apprehended after their vehicle struck multiple police cruisers and then a light pole while fleeing what police contend was their intended next robbery target, a Popeyes on the 2400 block of Grant Avenue around 11:15 p.m. Friday, police said.
Patrol officers had identified the suspects’ vehicle as stolen and attempted to stop it as it approached the rear door of the restaurant, police said. That’s when they took off, eventually hitting the light pole that disabled their vehicle, police said. The men, whose identities police did not reveal, were arrested after officers chased them on foot.
They are accused of robbing the Popeyes on the 4500 block of Castor Avenue at 11 p.m. on July 26, the Popeyes on the 500 block of Adams Avenue on July 27 at 10:30 p.m., a Chipotle on the 2300 block of Cottman Avenue on July 29 at 9:50 p.m, all in Northeast Philadelphia, and a Popeyes on the 3500 block of Aramingo Avenue on Aug. 21 at 10:51 p.m. in Port Richmond.
At each robbery, police said, the men followed a similar playbook — parking behind the restaurant, entering through the rear door, showing handguns once inside, and forcing an employee to open the safe. In some instances, employees were struck by the alleged robbers, said police, who did not say if anyone was seriously injured.