Sunday, August 30, 2015

Alleged Craigslist killer charged again

Thomas Coffee is charged with three more armed robberies. Two used a Craiglist sale gimmick to lure victims.

Alleged Craigslist killer charged again

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Thomas Coffee, the Willow Grove man charged with killing a South Jersey man he allegedly lured to West Oak Lane through the Craigslist Internet site to buy an all-terrain vehicle, has been charged in three more armed robberies.

And two of them, said Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Liermann, used the same Craigslist gimmick -- an ATV for sale -- as the June 21 killing of Daniel R. Cook Jr.

Liermann said all three newly charged robberies – filed July 9, 10 and 18 – involved crimes that occurred in the two months before the killing of Cook, 27, of Williamstown. Two of the victims are from Philadelphia and the third from the Pennsylvania suburbs.

Philadelphia court records show that Coffee, 23, has preliminary hearings on the new charges set for Thursday, Monday and Aug. 6 in Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Coffee has a preliminary hearing in the Cook killing on Aug. 14. His attorney in the murder trial, Evan Hughes, was not available for comment.

Police said Cook, an off-road enthusiast, responded to a Craigslist ad for an ATV for $1,800 and he offered to pay $950 and throw in a video console. The seller purportedly said he needed the money to bail his brother out of jail and wanted a quick sale – that day.

Cook and his girlfriend arrived at the appointed meeting place in West Oak Lane at 11 p.m. on June 21. Police said Cook left the money with his girlfriend and walked around the corner with the seller. Shots were fired and Cook’s girlfriend found him shot in the back and a leg, as if he tried to flee the gunman. Cook’s pockets were turned inside out as if the robber had searched for the money.

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About this blog
Inquirer reporter Joe Slobodzian covers the courts and writes about the people who find themselves there and what they face.

You can reach Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or jslobodzian@phillynews.com. Reach Joseph A. at jslobodzian@phillynews.com.

Joseph A. Slobodzian
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