Killed by police, he was on parole

Posted: February 11, 2009

Daniel Trinsey served six years in prison for robbery before he was paroled in 2007 and given a chance to change his ways.

But in recent weeks, the 48-year-old Trinsey failed to check in with his parole supervisor. Police said he returned to crime, robbing a bank Friday in the Northeast, and he even appeared to be smiling in surveillance photos taken as he grasped a stack of cash.

His final act of defiance came Monday afternoon in Fox Chase, where, police said, he refused to surrender and pulled a gun - later determined to be a replica of a .40-caliber handgun - on authorities. They fired their own guns and killed him.

In the 900 block of Borbeck Street, where Trinsey was shot, neighbors who affectionately referred to the byway as "boring" Borbeck were stunned that a man listed as "armed and dangerous" by the FBI was in their community.

Kenneth O'Gara, 46, said the neighborhood is home to summer barbecues, the kind of place where homeowners help one another shovel snow.

"My main concern is people that run through stop signs," O'Gara said yesterday while chatter ran rampant about Trinsey.

Trinsey was visiting a woman on the block, her relatives said. Neighbors don't recall seeing Trinsey, who lived in the 100 block of Tabor Road in Olney, until Monday.

Police said they followed Trinsey to Borbeck and attempted to arrest him about 3:10 p.m. It would have been the latest in his long string of arrests.

Trinsey was first jailed as an adult in 1979, on drug charges. He pleaded guilty and was placed on probation for a year, according to court records.

Sixteen more arrests followed in several states. The accusations included driving under the influence in May 1981, burglary two months later, and attempted murder in August 1981. All charges were withdrawn or dismissed, according to court records.

In 1990, a Philadelphia judge sentenced him to serve two to five years for receiving stolen property. He was sent to a state prison, where he remained until 1992, said Sue Bensinger, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections.

In 1996, he pleaded guilty to theft and was placed on probation again. In 2001, Bensinger said, Trinsey returned to a state prison and served six years of a five- to 10-year sentence for robbery and aggravated assault. He was paroled in April 2007.

Trinsey spent less than 30 days in one of the city's supervised correctional facilities and was ordered to continue substance-abuse treatment. He was granted street supervision, said Leo Dunn, a spokesman for the state Board of Probation and Parole.

Twice, he was flagged for not meeting parole-supervision requirements. In 2007, the allegations were dismissed as unfounded. On Jan. 14, parole officials declared him delinquent and issued a warrant for his arrest.

Police said he showed up about 7:15 p.m. Friday at the TD Bank at 2520 Grant Ave. There, he held up a cashier at gunpoint.

Surveillance photos showed him wearing a dark knit cap, a dark hooded sweatshirt, and two different-colored gloves: one olive, one white.

The FBI issued an armed-and-dangerous alert for the gunman, but agents did not know their suspect's name that night. By Monday, Trinsey - who has thick dark hair speckled with gray and is heavily tattooed on his neck and chest - was identified as a suspect.

The Violent Crimes Task Force of FBI agents and Philadelphia detectives carried his photo as they confronted him on Borbeck.

FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver said Trinsey was ordered to drop his gun. When he refused, Klaver said, he was shot, and boring Borbeck turned into into a crime scene.

Anna Mahserejian, who lives a few houses away from the shooting scene, said she was still shaken by the violence.

"On any street," she said, "you don't even know who your next-door neighbor is. It's scary."

Contact staff writer Barbara Boyer at 215-854-2641 or

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