Drexel Police Captain Fred Carbonara arrested Torin Myer, 23, a confirmed University City robber, May 8.
Myer confessed to four robberies occurring in University City over the past two weeks and was arraigned May 9. He was charged with four counts of robbery, theft, reckless endangerment of another person, aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, receiving stolen property, and possession of an instrument of crime.
Carbonara was on patrol May 8 when he saw a man fitting the description of the robber coming out of the Super Deli located at 415 N. 34th St.
The man was wearing the grayish hooded sweatshirt and black sneakers with white soles associated with the physical description of the robber. Carbonara saw him come out of the Super Deli and get on a bike.
Carbonara stopped Myer and saw that he had a knife on him. Carbonara told Myer to put his hands at his side as he retrieved the knife. Once Carbonara got the knife, he felt a gun in Myer’s back waistband.
“At that point in time, as I’m retrieving the knife, I grab his right wrist, the small of his pants and I throw him on the ground — not hard. I get him off the bike, on the ground, in an arm lock, and he’s placed under arrest,” Carbonara said.
The Southwest Detectives were there within minutes and handcuffed Myer. Police recovered a realistic-looking gun replica, three knives, heroin, needles, fingerless gloves and a black nylon mask.
Carbonara and police at the scene went into the Super Deli and asked the man working what Myer did. According to the employee, Myer asked if the deli sold cheese and then walked out.
According to Carbonara, one of Myer’s modi operandi was to scope out his target locations first and then put on his mask and gloves and come back to hold up the facility with his fake gun.
The Southwest Detectives took Myers to jail, where he confessed to the crimes.
“It was an excellent piece of police work,” Domenic Ceccanecchio, senior associate vice president of Public Safety for Drexel University, said.
“As far as we’re concerned, it takes this guy off the streets, and there’s a possibility that he was going to hold up the minimart, and the captain’s actions stopped the commission of another robbery,” he continued.
Carbonara got the information on the suspect at the weekly development meeting of the University City District Public Safety Task Force Group. Police officers from Drexel, the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Police from the 18th and 16th districts, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and The University of the Sciences meet weekly to discuss recent criminal activities and assess patterns. The meetings are led by Lt. Brian McBride, commanding officer of the University City District.
Myer’s information was valuable to Carbonara in making the arrest.
“A lot of this came about because of our relationship with Philly police and their ability to provide us with the video information that we could identify the male that committed the robberies,” Ceccanecchio said.
Carbonara has been an officer in Philadelphia for 32 years. Before joining the Drexel Police force, Carbonara was the commanding officer of the University City District that Drexel President John A. Fry pushed to create during his time at the University of Pennsylvania. Carbonara had been working in West Philadelphia when the MOVE Black Power movement occurred.
“I am so proud of the entire department. I’m proud of everyone involved because everyone was relentless in finding this guy and ending this. And for me, it was just a matter of luck being in the right place at the right time. It could have been any one of us that made the arrest,” Carbonara said.
“I can’t let my guard down. It’s not over. There’s always other people willing to jump in and go to jail. And we just can never rest. It was nice for two minutes, but now you’re back to work,” Carbonara concluded.