A Kingsessing man was convicted of an attempted kidnapping in Lower Merion
Kent Powe is also a suspect in two similar attacks that took place weeks earlier in Cherry Hill, according to police.
A Montgomery County jury has convicted a Kingsessing man of attempted kidnapping and robbery in a December 2020 incident that prosecutors used to link him to similar attacks on women in the region.
Kent Powe, 60, held a woman at gunpoint late one night as she walked toward the Royal Athena Apartments in Lower Merion, according to prosecutors. Powe pretended to be there to visit a friend, they said, and slipped inside the building behind the victim.
He pressed a gun into her back, telling her, “You know what this is,” according to the affidavit of probable cause for his arrest. The woman was able to escape after another resident walked by and Powe ran off.
Powe, who represented himself at the three-day trial this week before Montgomery County Judge Risa Vetri Ferman, denied any involvement in the attack, which had been recorded on surveillance cameras.
The jury wasn’t swayed and delivered a guilty verdict late Wednesday. Ferman deferred sentencing for 90 days, sending Powe back to the county jail on $1 million bail.
After the Lower Merion attack, investigators noticed similarities with two attempted abductions weeks earlier in Cherry Hill, according to court filings.
In those cases, both outside of the Plaza Grande apartment complex, a man matching Powe’s description struck up conversations with two women before attacking them and attempting to lead them away, according to Cherry Hill police. During the second attack, police said, he ordered a woman to get into his trunk at gunpoint. When she refused, he grabbed her purse and struck her with his gun before fleeing.
Using the descriptions the women gave to Cherry Hill police, as well as images of his Nissan Altima, which had distinct features, investigators in Lower Merion were able to identify Powe as a suspect, and tracked him down to a home in Lansdowne, Delaware County, according to court documents.
After searching Powe’s residence in Kingsessing, authorities said, they discovered clothing that matched what the suspect was seen wearing in the surveillance footage in Lower Merion, as well as a handgun.
Powe has a criminal case pending in Cherry Hill on charges including attempted kidnapping, armed robbery, and firearms offenses.