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.