Drexel hoopsters sought in robbery

Drexel's starting point guard Jamie Harris (12) and forward Kevin Phillip are sought in connection with a robbery. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)
Drexel's starting point guard Jamie Harris (12) and forward Kevin Phillip are sought in connection with a robbery. (AP Photo/Michael Perez) (Lissa Atkins)
Posted: July 26, 2010

THEY THOUGHT they had a plan, a real good plan, one that just couldn't fail.

Jamie Harris and Kevin Phillip, two Drexel University basketball players, stormed into a female Drexel student's apartment on Wednesday night brandishing guns, expecting to score a big stash of cash, police said.

But the plan kind of fell apart - the young woman didn't have any money - so Harris and Phillip grabbed her iPhone and took off, police said.

Their getaway was caught on tape.

Harris, the Dragons' starting point guard, and Phillip, a backup forward, are now fugitives, wanted on charges that include robbery, theft and conspiracy, said Lt. John Walker, of Southwest Detectives.

The two cohorts, both 21, are considered armed and dangerous, Walker said. The victim positively identified Harris and Phillip as the assailants from a photo spread, and arrest warrants were issued for the pair on Saturday, he added.

Investigators have already charged a third man who participated in the robbery, Walker said. Devon Bond, 21, also attends Drexel helped set up the heist, Walker said.

Bond, Harris and Phillip all live at University Crossings, an off-campus student housing property at 31st Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.

Bruiser Flint, the head coach of Drexel's basketball team, said last night that he was unaware that two of his players were wanted by police. "I'm trying to figure this thing out," he said.

Other Drexel officials could not be reached for comment.

The trouble started shortly before 10 p.m. Wednesday, when a surveillance camera recorded Bond, who was wearing a backpack, trying to open the door to a young woman's apartment on Lancaster Avenue near 36th Street, Walker said.

Bond paced back and forth for a little while, with a cell phone pressed against his ear. He bided his time in a nearby business, and then returned to the apartment at 10:30 p.m.

This time, he rang the doorbell, and the woman answered. Walker said that the woman recognized Bond from Drexel - they both took the same business class - and as a friend of her male roommate, who wasn't at home.

She invited him in, and the plan started to kick into gear. As Bond entered the apartment, he was shown on surveillance footage sticking a piece of paper between the door frame and the lock, preventing the door from locking, Walker said.

Bond and the female student made small talk for a few minutes, and then he announced that he was leaving.

He didn't get far. The woman told investigators that Bond marched back into her apartment moments later, trailed by Harris and Phillip, who were both brandishing handguns, Walker said.

Bond was forced to the ground by one of the robbers in an attempt to make it look like he was a victim, too. It was all part of the plan.

One of the Drexel basketball players began pointing at the woman's bed and ordering her to hand over cash, Walker said. She stammered that she didn't have any.

The robbers grabbed her iPhone and warned the woman that they would return if they found out that she had been lying about the money, Walker said.

Bond got off the floor, eyeballed the woman for a moment, and took off, Walker said. Police later tracked him down and pieced together the story behind the ham-fisted robbery.

Bond, who's from Marlton, N.J., was charged Thursday with robbery, theft, conspiracy and related offenses.

Walker said detectives think that Harris and Phillip might have fled to New York, where they grew up.

Harris, a senior, was the Dragons' leading scorer last year. Phillip, a junior, is a bench player who appeared in 31 games.

According to Drexel's Web site, Harris and Phillip are both majoring in general humanities and social science.

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