Phone in bag leads to arrests in Pitman store robbery

Posted: March 27, 2013

Pitman police early Monday solved a classic crime - a holdup at a convenience store - with the help of a ubiquitous piece of modern technology: a smartphone.

Just minutes before midnight Sunday, police were alerted to a holdup at a 7-Eleven on the 300 block of North Broadway, where a clerk used a baseball bat to fend off two teenagers wielding fake handguns and wearing bandannas and gloves.

While the would-be thieves fled with no money, the clerk managed to swipe one of their bags.

One contained a smartphone, which was "instrumental in tracking the bad guys" to a Woodbury residence on the 300 block of Morris Street, Pitman Police Chief Robert T. Zimmerman said.

There, he said, authorities found five suspects around 1 a.m. Monday who had the gloves, bandannas, and "very real-looking" handguns.

Police arrested 18-year-old John C. Allebach III and a 15-year-old juvenile, both of Woodbury, on aggravated-assault, robbery, and weapons charges.

Three other suspects - 21-year-old Nicholas Serrano of Mount Royal; 18-year-old Nicholas J. Miller of Woodbury; and a 16-year-old juvenile, also of Woodbury - were arrested on robbery charges.

The juveniles are being held at Lakeland Juvenile Facility and the adults at Gloucester County Jail on $25,000 bail.

Contact Andrew Seidman at 856-779-3846, or @AndrewSeidman on Twitter.

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