Video: Robber grabs workers, menaces them with gun in Philly store stickups

A gunman robbed two Philadelphia stores last week after grabbing and threatening employees with his weapon in frightening scenes captured on stores videos. His face is clearly seen at one store, where he made a purchase before committing the robbery.

Police are seeking the public's help in identifying this gunman, who robbed stores in West Philadelphia and Wynnefield, a little more than a mile apart.

About 2:30 p.m. Jan. 3, the man entered a small grocery store on the 4900 block of Thompson Street in West Philly, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at a male employee, while grabbing him, then forcing him back to the register, where the suspect took $200, then fled on foot, police said and the store video shows. No one was injured.

Then, about 8:40 a.m. Jan. 4, the same man is believed to have robbed the Community Mini Market at 1801 Georges Lane, in Wynnefield, after first posing as a customer. In this case, the man also pointed a handgun at a male employee, grabbed him, and demanded money, according to police and the store video.

The robber stole $100 and a cellphone before running away, police said. Surveillance video in the Wynnefield store showed the robber making a purchase at 8:32 a.m., before committing the robbery.

The suspect is described as about 20 years old, with a goatee and beard. In the second robbery, he was wearing a blue Ralph Lauren coat with a U.S.A. logo and flag on the right side of the coat and a Polo logo on the left side, blue jeans, white sneakers, a black skullcap, and a gray hood over his head. In the first robbery, he was wearing a similar puffy coat with no logos on the chest, police said.

Anyone with information about him is asked to contact the Southwest Detective Division at 215-686-3183 or -3184, or the police tipline at 215-686-TIPS (8477), or submit a tip online. Tipsters can be anonymous.