Two convicted of serial theft in Montgomery County and Philadelphia
NORRISTOWN — Two Philadelphia men have been convicted of participating, individually or together, in a series of armed robberies at commercial establishments in Cheltenham, Springfield and Philadelphia and are now awaiting their fate from a judge.
Isaiah Dykes, 27, of the 1700 block of North Woodstock Street, and Yasin Ikeen Lowman, 27, of the 1900 block of West 73rd Street, were found guilty in Montgomery County Court of multiple charges of theft, conspiracy and weapons in connection with the serial theft spree that occurred between August and September 2018.
Judge Thomas C. Branca delivered the verdicts after a three-day trial without a jury.
Authorities alleged there were a total of 19 armed robberies during the spree, and that Lowman and Dykes committed some alone and some together. Specifically, Lowman was found guilty of playing a role in nine robberies and four conspiracies and Dykes was found guilty of participating in 10 robberies and seven conspiracies between August 17 and September 25, 2018.
Of the 19 incidents, 16 were in Philadelphia, two in Cheltenham and one in Springfield. Montgomery County prosecutors handled all cases.
“Obviously we have two defendants here who go on a serial robbery spree where they put guns in the faces of employees, terrorizing the citizens of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, so we took it very seriously,” Assistant District Attorney Scott Frame said. who handled the case with co-prosecutor Danton Moyer.
Branca postponed sentencing of Dykes and Lowman so that court officials could complete background investigation reports on the men. Dykes and Lowman face potentially decades in prison for those charges.
“We’re going to get decades in state prison against these two guys,” Frame swore.
The Cheltenham incidents happened on August 24, 2018 at the Walgreens Pharmacy in the 2700 block of West Cheltenham Avenue and on September 7, 2018 at the Rite Aid Pharmacy in the 1400 block of West Cheltenham Avenue, according to court documents. The Lukoil gas station in the 600 block of Bethlehem Pike in Springfield was targeted on September 25, 2018, according to arrest documents.
Other thefts took place at Family Dollar stores, Little Caesar restaurants, Rite Aid pharmacies, Metro PCS stores and Cricket Wireless in Philadelphia, according to court documents.
Detectives said the armed robberies “had a similar modus operandi”.
“In all incidents, a lone suspect or two suspects enter a commercial establishment, brandish a gun and ask the employee to give the money to the register or safe,” the Cheltenham detective alleged. Matthew Gonglik in the criminal complaint.
Gonglik said all flights had a “common plan, pattern and design”.
“This is due to the similarity in appearance, clothing of the suspects, firearms used, type of stores and location of stores that were targeted in these robberies,” Gonglik said.
Investigators used cellphone and GPS tracking, search warrants and surveillance camera footage that linked the men to the clothes and shoes worn by the suspects.
“The case was successfully prosecuted because we had a full multi-jurisdictional team involving the FBI, Cheltenham, Montgomery County Detective Bureau, Springfield and Philadelphia. It was just a great effort from everyone law enforcement agencies working beautifully together,” Frame said.