Alleged thief/informer escapes

An alleged car thief who offered to provide information about a murder case escaped last night from Police Headquarters.

Hector Gomez, 28, was arrested in Kensington Sunday night for driving a stolen car, police said.

Gomez was unable to make bail yesterday and about 1:30 p.m., he was taken to headquarters, at 8th and Race streets, where he told cops he had information about an unsolved homicide case.

Police officials said that Gomez had been left in an interview room until about 5 p.m., when police discovered that he had managed to dig a hole through the room's drywall ceiling.

Gomez, who has 15 arrests, managed to squeeze through duct work, drop into a hallway and take off.

Tipsters should call 9-1-1.

Center City bank robber sought

A knife-wielding thief held up the HSBC Bank branch at 10th and Arch streets Friday afternoon.

The robber was described as a black man, 30 to 40 years old, of medium height and stocky build with a black beard and wearing a black leather jacket and black knit cap.

He escaped with an undisclosed amount of money.

Anyone with information about the robbery should contact the FBI at 215-418-4000.

Ill juror halts Fumo session

An alternate juror became ill and forced postponement of yesterday's federal court proceedings in the corruption trial of state Sen. Vincent Fumo and a former aide, Ruth Arnao.

After visiting with her doctor, and receiving treatment, the juror reported to the court that she felt much better. The trial will resume this morning.

Defendant's plans questioned

A man accused of planning to kill soldiers at Fort Dix was caught on an informant's secret recordings making contradictory statements less than a month apart.

Last week, a jury in the case heard from the informant, Besnik Bakalli, that Dritan Duka told him on March 10, 2007, that the group should attack soldiers in the United States.

Yesterday, defense attorneys showed jurors a transcript of a second conversation from April 7, 2007, in which Duka told Bakalli: "We are good the way we are.

'We are not going to kill anyone. Even if we kill anyone . . . they will catch you right away."

Government prosecutors say that Dritan Duka; his brothers Shain and Eljvir Duka, and friends Mohamad Shnewer and Serdar Tatar were planning and training to kill U.S. soldiers. *

- Staff and wire reports