As the investigation progressed, the evidence kept getting stronger, sources said, including information about the handgun used to kill Joseph Alullo, 54, of Levittown, and William Widmaier, 65, of Fairless Hills, both retired Philadelphia police officers working for Loomis.
The suspect, a 36-year-old man, was not identified by police because he had not been formally charged. He was arrested about 4 p.m. leaving the Franklin Square Townhomes in the 3800 block of of Woodhaven Road, across from Franklin Mills Mall.
Police said he was arrested on a warrant from Bucks County, on charges of passing a bad check for $5,000 that was used for a deposit on a late-model black Acura TL sedan - the make, model and color of the vehicle driven by the gunman Thursday.
He was taken to police headquarters and questioned by homicide detectives while a search warrant was executed at his residence. Sources said police expected to file murder charges soon.
Police said the suspect was picked up while getting into a white Pontiac rented in New Jersey. He was preparing to leave the area, police said. The Acura was parked nearby and covered with a gray tarp.
The robbery and killings occurred about 8 a.m. Thursday at the Wachovia Bank at Bustleton and Bleigh Avenues, outside the mall. The robber struck while Alullo and Widmaier were servicing an ATM machine, and their driver remained inside the truck.
A bank surveillance photo shows the gunman walking up to the two guards, shooting both of them execution-style, and running off with a bag containing an unknown amount of money. The man then sped off in a black Acura sedan.
Authorities said investigators were led to the suspect by tips received yesterday morning from two people.
The first came from a person who worked for an unidentified auto dealership in Middletown Township, Bucks County. That tipster said a man who had bought a black Acura TL sedan from the dealer - and paid with a bad check - resembled the gunman in the video.
That was followed by a call from a resident of the Woodhaven Road complex, who told police that there was a resident there who looked like the gunman and that there was a black car parked there, covered with a tarpaulin.
Police and FBI agents staked out the building and arrested the man.
Marc Hilbert, 23, who lives in the complex, said he was watching from his window when he saw a man, a woman and a child walk out of an apartment and get into a white Pontiac with New Jersey plates.
Hilbert said the Pontiac pulled away from a parking spot and went about five feet before being blocked by an undercover-police truck.
The three occupants were placed in another undercover vehicle before being taken away in a police wagon, Hilbert said.
Meanwhile, in a parking lot close by, undercover officers swooped in and guarded a black vehicle that had been covered in a light-colored tarp, said Anna Mesoraca, 39.
The black car was towed by police around 5:40 p.m. and the Pontiac soon afterward.
The arrests capped two days of an intensive manhunt by police and FBI agents for the man who killed Alullo and Widmaier.
Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the Medical Examiner's Office, said autopsies were completed yesterday afternoon on the two men. Alullo died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, and Widmaier of a shot to the chest.
Sheila Campbell, regional human resources director for Loomis' Pennsauken office, out of which both guards worked, said that she had spoken with families of the men and that funeral services were not finalized.
Alullo and Widmaier were friends and partners since their days in Northeast Philadelphia's Seventh Police District. Their deaths stunned the region's law-enforcement community.
"These were awesome guys, great people to be around," said Steve Forman, 33, the owner of a Bucks County vending-machine business, who worked 31/2 years for Loomis until leaving in 2004.
Forman said he worked in two- and three-person crews at Loomis, servicing ATM machines as Alullo and Widmaier had done, and had partnered with them.
Forman called it dangerous work: "It's pretty scary out there."
Their deaths have already caused officials at Loomis' headquarters in Houston to reexamine the company's policy of allowing employees to decide whether to wear bulletproof vests. Neither man was wearing one when he was shot.
Loomis does not require guards to wear bulletproof vests, which cost from $350 to $700, but it encourages their use, spokesman Mark Clark said. The company pays part of the cost of the vests and offers interest-free loans to employees for the rest.
"One of the things that we're re-evaluating is the vest policy," Clark said. "Our objective is, we want people to wear them."
The national news report of this story can be found here,...
PHILADELPHIA — A convicted bank robber charged with killing two armored car guards spotted the vehicle on the road and followed it to the ATM machine, a homicide detective said Saturday.
Mustafi Ali, 36, of Philadelphia, then executed the two retired Philadelphia police officers as they serviced the cash machine, police said.
The TrekMedic muses:
So,..how soon before CAIR or Al Sharpton come up here and start screaming "foul," and "racism?"
FWIW,...a few dozen bullets would've been cheaper than a lengthy trial in our courts.
Labels: Philly Stuff