Thursday, July 24, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Cops nab suspects in Belaggio heist, serial robberies

Three men, two of whom cops say robbed a Cottman Avenue jewelry store at gunpoint in November, have been arrested in a series of robberies, cops said Wednesday.

Cops nab suspects in Belaggio heist, serial robberies

A serial-robbery suspect who allegedly made off with $200,000 in merchandise after a November jewelry-store heist and committed a string of other robberies before cops nabbed him earlier this month probably could’ve used a lesson on quitting while you’re ahead.

But it’s too late for that. Cops announced Wednesday that they arrested Jeffery Harrison, 56, who they say committed at least two robberies on his own and several others with two different accomplices. In addition to Harrison, cops said they locked up his partner in crime in the robbery of Belaggio Jewelers in Rhawnhurst and another man who allegedly helped him out in five other robberies during December and February.

Harrison and Daniel Watson, 44, are the thugs who stormed into the Cottman Avenue jewelry store Nov. 14, forced employees into a back room at gunpoint and zip-tied their hands while they made off with about $200,000 worth of merchandise, according to police.

Harrison, of Darien Street near Butler in Hunting Park, and Watson, of 16th Street near Duncannon Avenue in Logan, both face charges of robbery and related offenses.

The guy apparently just couldn’t quit: Cops said he’s also charged in several other robberies, including December holdups of Radio Shacks in Lower Merion, Chestnut Hill and Olney and robberies of a Radio Shack in Montgomery County and a Rite Aid in East Mount Airy that both took place Feb. 8. In those incidents, cops identified John Townsend, 30, of Mount Pleasant Avenue near Lincoln Drive in West Mount Airy, as Harrison’s accomplice.

But alleged serial-robber Harrison, the apparent ringleader, didn’t need a cohort to wreak havoc – cops said he flew solo when he hit a Cash Well check-cashing business in Ogontz in June and an East Germantown Beneficial Bank on Chew Avenue near Wister Street in January.

Townsend also faces charges on several counts of robbery and related offenses, according to police. All three men are expected to face federal charges.

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Philly Confidential, which covers crime in Philadelphia and the suburbs, is written by Daily News staffers Dana DiFilippo, Stephanie Farr, Vinny Vella and Morgan Zalot.

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