PHILADELPHIA, PA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jerry Collins, 40, and Tyree Lamont Holmes, 28, both of Philadelphia, PA, were indicted for armed robbery of a Garda armored truck on the 3500 block of Market Street in the University City section of West Philadelphia just over one year ago.
According to the indictment, on August 1, 2019, at approximately 10:00 a.m., Holmes and a second unidentified suspect, both wearing masks and gloves, one armed with a loaded Glock 17 semi-automatic handgun and the other with a loaded assault rifle with an attached drum-style magazine, exited a Chevy Trailblazer that was parked behind a Garda armored truck. As one of the guards removed three black bags containing a total of $434,000 cash, Holmes and his accomplice approached the guard, pointed their firearms at him and announced a robbery while Collins waited in the driver’s seat of the getaway vehicle, the Trailblazer. Holmes allegedly grabbed the bags of money and attempted to get back into the vehicle when two guards drew their firearms and began shooting at the fleeing robbers, who fired back. During the shootout, Holmes dropped the bags of money on the ground and fled on foot while the second robber got into the Trailblazer with Collins and fled the scene.
Collins was arrested by the FBI on August 7, 2020; Holmes was arrested by the Philadelphia Police Department on February 18, 2020. Both defendants were indicted for conspiracy to commit Hobbs Act robbery, robbery which interfered with interstate commerce, and using, carrying and brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. Holmes is detained pending trial; the Government has moved to detain Collins, as well, who will appear in federal court for his detention hearing tomorrow, August 11, 2020.
“Robbing any type of business – especially a brazen armed robbery of an armored vehicle in broad daylight – is a serious federal offense that can carry stiff penalties,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “And here, the alleged robbery precipitated a shootout on a busy city block that endangered many innocent bystanders. It is remarkable that nobody was struck and killed. This type of criminal behavior is completely unacceptable and my Office is focused on rooting it out.”
“This was a risky armed robbery carried out on a dense and active block in University City,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The robbery crew showed up armed to the teeth to accost Garda personnel, prompting a barrage of gunfire. Holmes, Collins, and their accomplices put countless innocent people in danger by allegedly planning and carrying out this daylight gunpoint heist. It’s imperative all involved are held accountable, both to keep them off the street and send a message to anyone else who may contemplate such a dangerous assault on our community.”
Each defendant faces a maximum term of life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum term of seven years’ imprisonment without the possibility of parole, up to five years of supervised release, and a $750,000 fine. Committing a violent crime in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania carries a tremendous risk of a long prison sentence, which is the message of the Office’s new anti-violence public awareness campaign. You can learn more about this campaign on the District website.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney José Arteaga.