A robbery suspect posed as a door-to-door salesman, then asked for a job at a local business before snatching a donation jar off the counter, jumping on a bike and pedaling away with it Tuesday afternoon, police said.
Lt. John Walker, of the Southwest Detective Division, gave this account:
A man walked into Twin Auto Body on 72nd Street near Elmwood Avenue in the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia around 2:30 p.m., and asked the owner if he was interested in switching electric service.
The clerk said no, and the man walked out of the store. He was wearing a grey jacket and jeans, and did not appear to be affiliated with a business.
"The owner thought something wasn't right when he walked in and wasn't with a bona fide company," Walker said.
Minutes later, the same man walked back into the auto body shop asking for a job.
He handed the owner a sheet of paper with a fake name and phone number on it. The owner told the suspect that he wasn't hiring, and he walked back out of the building.
The man walked into the shop a third time, grabbed a jar containing about $400 in cash and ran outside. The owner chased the suspect, but he jumped on a small black bike and pedaled away clutching the donation jar.
The shop owner told police that the money was supposed to be donated to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Police were on the scene Tuesday evening and anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the Southwest Detective Division at 215-686-3183.