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Reading man charged in pair of armed store robberies in 2020 in Berks

May 2—In late 2020, Muhlenberg Township investigated a pair of armed robberies of the Turkey Hill Minit Market at 2240 Hampden Boulevard, close to town line.

The robberies had been so related that police suspected they had been finished by the identical group. There was a rash of store robberies on the time, most occurring in Reading, that police believed could also be linked.

Three robbers would storm the store with firearms and achieve management of the employees, investigators mentioned. One of the robbers would take away money from the register and cartons of cigarettes from a cupboard.

In one of the Hampden Boulevard robberies, the identical suspect who took the money and cigarettes additionally robbed a employee.

Despite gathering fingerprint proof, no match was discovered when the latent prints had been entered in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or AFIS, police mentioned.

More than three years later, on Jan. 1, 2024, investigators received a break in the case when Cumru Township police arrested Eric A. Bonilla, 23, of Reading for driving and not using a license and carrying a firearm with out license.

Because of the prison cost, which in line with court docket information was later withdrawn, Bonilla’s fingerprints had been entered into AFIS, police mentioned.

Muhlenberg Detective Sgt. Ramon Caraballo obtained a notification from the Berks County Forensic Service Unit that the fingerprint proof his division had entered into the system was a match for Bonilla.

Caraballo filed prices April 17 in opposition to Bonilla for each robberies, which occurred on Nov. 19, 2020, and Dec. 6, 2020.

On Wednesday, Muhlenberg police, assisted by officers from Upper Macungie Township Department in Lehigh County, arrested Bonilla at an unspecified location in Upper Macungie.

Bonilla of the primary block of Arlington Street was dedicated to Berks County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail to await a listening to.

He faces two counts every of theft and conspiracy, possessing an instrument of crime, easy assault, receiving stolen property and associated counts.

No different arrests have been made. Caraballo mentioned the investigation continues into the 2 Hampden Boulevard robberies in addition to different store robberies in late 2020. Details of these hold-ups had been unavailable.

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