April 22, 2022

Press Release

Case # 22-011449

Abington Police Announce Arrest of Serial Robber

On Saturday, April 2, 2022, a subject entered the TD Bank at 2900 Moreland Rd. in the Willow Grove section of Abington Township. The subject, who was wearing Muslim garb and had his face concealed, demanded that the teller give him “all the 50’s and 100’s” before fleeing the area. The suspect fled back towards Philadelphia through Cheltenham Township. An alert Cheltenham police officer was able to get a license plate of the suspect’s getaway car. The vehicle was registered to Richard Lawrence, of the 2300 block of 79th Ave. in Philadelphia. The vehicle was recovered a short time later in Philadelphia, and a couple days after that, Lawrence reported to the Philadelphia Police Department that his car had been stolen.

While investigating the bank robbery, detectives found similarities to several other recent robberies of commercial businesses in the region. During the month of March, 2022, the following businesses were robbed in a similar fashion: Rite Aid located at 8001 Roosevelt Blvd in Philadelphia, Walgreen’s located at 7001 Frankford Ave. in Philadelphia, CVS located at 890 Welsh Rd. in Horsham, and  Rite Aid located at 1321 Easton Rd. in the Roslyn section of Abington Township. These four robberies were all committed by the same suspect, who either threatened employees with a box cutter or implied that he had a weapon and demanded money from the safe.

Detectives were able to gather evidence to link the TD Bank robbery to the other four robberies. They were also able to show that Richard Lawrence lied about his car being stolen and was actually the suspect in the robberies. The detectives were in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant for Lawrence on April 9, 2022, when a subject walked into the TD Bank located at 2431 Cheltenham Ave. in Cheltenham Township and demanded money from a teller. Cheltenham Police arrested Richard Lawrence as he fled the bank and recovered the money from the robbery. After Lawrence was charged by Cheltenham Police and detained at Montgomery County Correctional Facility, Abington detectives began coordinating with Philadelphia and Montgomery County prosecutors to prepare charges for the additional robberies. On April 19, 2022, Richard Lawrence was charged with five counts of robbery and related offenses. Bail was set at $10,000 and he was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, where he was already being held.

Richard Lawrence, 56, 2300 block of 79th Ave. Philadelphia

CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREFORE, ARE MERELY ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL AND UNLESS PROVEN GUILTY.

Approved for release by: Lt. Steve Fink

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