Umbrella Collapses Weapons Charges

Posted: July 04, 1991

When police found out that the alleged weapon used in a Collingdale bank holdup actually was an umbrella, they dropped armed-robbery and weapons charges that had been filed against a Philadelphia man.

But those were the only charges dropped in the case against Charles Thomas Hickey, 37, of the 2700 block of West Country Club Road.

At a preliminary hearing Tuesday before District Justice William J. Dittert, charges of robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, reckless endangerment, making terroristic threats, and simple and aggravated assault were upheld. Hickey was ordered to appear for arraignment in Delaware County Court on Aug. 15.

Hickey was returned to Delaware County Prison, where he was sent when he failed to post 10 percent of $200,000 bail.

A police affidavit gave this account:

Police received a radio message of an armed holdup at Suburban Federal Savings Bank, MacDade Boulevard and Chester Pike, at 10:30 a.m. June 20. When police arrived, employees said the robber, who was wearing a blue-and-white shirt and red shorts, had left through the Springfield Road exit and headed toward the Darby Loop area.

A Darby police officer saw a man who fit the description run past him in the first block of North Ninth Street, Darby. He arrested Hickey and found $900 in $10 and $20 bills in his possession.

Hickey conceded that he had just held up the bank and that the money belonged to the bank, the affidavit said.

It said Hickey told the officer he had handed the teller a note that read, ''Keep silent. I have a gun. Give me your 10s and 20s."

Hickey said he carried an umbrella in a plastic bag that made it look as if he had a gun, the affidavit said.

Police said he was identified by bank employees as the holdup man.

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