Northeast robbery spree ends with two arrests

A two-person robbery spree in the Northeast’s Upper Holmesburg and Holme Circle sections last week ended when an alert police officer spotted the suspects’ car in the parking lot of a local motel.

Officer Daniel Butler of Northeast Detectives used surveillance video from three March 8 hold-ups to identify the robbers’ getaway car, a gray 2006 Honda Accord. Believing that the car had originated from outside the city, Butler began surveying area motels on March 9. That’s when he found the car sitting outside the Hub Motel at Roosevelt Boulevard and Revere Street. A man and woman were inside.

Police arrested both vehicle occupants in connection with three robberies of area businesses. They were identified as Raymond Ditri, 38, of the 3100 block of Welsh Road, and Lauren Letherby, 28, of Annville, Lebanon County. 

The crimes all happened within 35 minutes on March 8. At about 3:10 p.m., a man approached a check-out clerk at Family Dollar, 8445 Frankford Ave., and asked if the business sold cartons of cigarettes. When the employee said it did not, the suspect demanded cash from the register while motioning like he had a gun tucked in his waistband. The suspect fled empty-handed when the clerk was unable to open the register.

About 14 minutes later, the same suspect entered the Beneficial Savings Bank at 2845 Holme Ave. and handed a demand note to a teller. The teller surrendered an undisclosed amount of cash to the suspect in a bag. In the parking lot outside the bank, a red dye pack exploded inside the money bag as the robber fled on foot.

At about 3:45 p.m., the same robber showed up at Metro PCS store, 2425 Welsh Road, where he threatened to shoot a clerk and forced the clerk to give him cash from the register. The robber was last seen running eastbound on Welsh Road. ••