2 Guilty In Robbery At Mt. Airy Home

Posted: September 20, 1990

Two Roxborough men who forced their way into a West Mount Airy home, robbed and pistol-whipped the family, and threatened to set them on fire pleaded guilty yesterday in Common Pleas Court.

Anthony Longacre, 25, and Richard Mullen, 28, were scheduled to go on trial in the armed robbery of John J. Soeffing Jr.; his wife, Geraldine, and their son, Christopher, 22, but instead pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary, aggravated assault and other charges.

Judge William J. Mazzola set sentencing for Nov. 20.

The Soeffing family told investigators that two men wearing stocking masks burst into their home in the 300 block of West Allens Lane at 9:15 p.m. March 27. One of the men had a gun, they said.

While their son, Christopher, was ordered to stuff jewelry into a pillowcase upstairs, said Assistant District Attorney Carol Sweeney, the parents were ordered to lie on the living room floor. The assailants ransacked the house and told the family to "shut up or you will be killed," the prosecutor said.

John Soeffing told investigators that he was taken by Longacre to the basement and ordered to open a wall safe. When the elder Soeffing said he did not know the combination to an inside compartment in the safe, he said, one intruder clicked a gun at his wife's head while the other counted backwards and threatened to shoot.

The defendants then threw a liquid that they claimed was kerosene on all three family members lying on the basement floor, and threatened to set them on fire, Sweeney said in court.

Finally, one intruder - later identified as Mullen - stood over John Soeffing pointed a gun and said, "This is it," the prosecutor said. The gun discharged, grazing the elder Soeffing in the back of the head.

Longacre and Mullens escaped with cash, jewelry, a coin collection and a stamp collection with a total value of $30,000.

Geraldine Soeffing later told investigators that despite the mask, she had recognized Longacre during the heist as a friend of her older son, Jody. He had been in the family's home before, Sweeney told the judge yesterday.

At a preliminary hearing in April, Jody Soeffing, 24, testified that he had discussed the possibility of burglarizing his parents' home with Longacre and Mullen two weeks before the incident. Jody Soeffing, who was living in New Jersey, testified that his conversation with the two was "hypothetical" and occurred while he was drunk.

Jody Soeffing died Aug. 15. A spokesman for the medical examiner said yesterday that the cause and manner of death will not be determined until results of toxicology studies are received.

comments powered by Disqus