A federal arrest warrant has been issued for Nyfis "Feese" Toppings, 26, in connection with an August home invasion in Delaware County that targeted Asian business owners and netted $200,000, according to the FBI.
Two men already in custody in the armed home invasion - Terrance Downing and Tyree Mansell - named Toppings as their accomplice, according to court documents.
On Aug. 8, about 2:30 a.m., the three allegedly broke into the Havertown home of the owners of K&C Beverage in Upper Darby. The men forced the victims to open a safe at gunpoint and stole about $200,000, police said.
When Downing was taken into custody in October, he admitted to multiple home invasions that targeted Asian business owners because he believed they did not use banks, court documents said.
Federal and local authorities are crediting the Cobbs Creek Initiative with helping to identify the suspects. The initiative, a multijurisdictional operation involving 15 Delaware County municipalities, Philadelphia police, the FBI and State Police, was an "outgrowth" of the Asian home-invasion spree that began about two years ago, said Delaware County District Attorney G. Michael Green.
Within the initiative, law-enforcement departments share information and collaborate on solving a variety of violent crimes, including Asian home invasions, Green said.
"The basic theory is that those who are involved in criminal activity, particularly for a profession every day, have a complete disregard for jurisdictional boundaries," he said.
Bringing the FBI and federal prosecution into some of the cases also gives authorities more leverage when dealing with suspects, according to Special Agent J.J Klaver, FBI spokesman.
"When they know they are facing federal time - 30, 40 or 50 years - there's a lot more incentive for them to cooperate with us and identify their associates," he said.
But one of the best parts, for Green, has more to do with the victims than the criminals.
"To be able to go back to those victims and tell them that threat has been eliminated is extremely satisfying for anyone in law enforcement and certainly for me," he said.
Toppings is described as black, 5 feet 8 and 150 pounds with tattoos on his right forearm.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is urged to call the FBI at 215-418-4000.