Kent W. Powe of Philadelphia was arrested December 3 in Pennsylvania in connection with an attempted kidnapping in Lower Merion. Cherry Hill Police also have charged him in two incidents in New Jersey.
By Matt Skoufalos | December 13, 2020
A Philadelphia man has been charged in a series of attempted kidnappings at apartments on both sides of the Delaware River.
After a joint investigation led by police in Cherry Hill and Lower Merion Townships, Kent William Powe, 58, was taken into custody without incident outside a home in Collingdale, Pennsylvania on December 3.
Powe was charged in two separate incidents at the Plaza Grande Apartments at Garden State Park, which occurred November 14 and 20, and a third incident at the Royal Athena Apartment Complex in the Bala Cynwyd section of Lower Merion, which allegedly occurred November 4..
In the first, Cherry Hill Police say a suspect “started a friendly conversation” with his victim, and then suddenly knocked her to the ground; he reportedly fled after she screamed.
A week later, police say the second victim was entering her building lobby from the parking garage when a man allegedly approached, struck up a conversation, and followed her onto the elevator. Once inside, he allegedly brandished a handgun and robbed the woman of her bags.
Police say he then forced her out of the elevator, through the lobby, and back outside into the parking garage. There, he allegedly pushed the woman towards a sedan parked outside the garage, opened the trunk, and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t get in.
The woman reportedly resisted, and was struck in the face with the gun, but managed to escape back into the building lobby while the suspect reportedly drove off along Garden Park Drive. After police arrived on the scene, she declined medical treatment for her injuries, described by authorities as minor abrasions.
In the November 14 incident, Powe faces two counts of second-degree attempted kidnapping and one count of third-degree aggravated assault.
In the November 20 incident, he faces:
- two counts of first-degree kidnapping
- one count of first-degree armed robbery
- one count of second-degree aggravated assault
- one count of third-degree aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
- one count of third-degree terroristic threats
- one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon
- one count of second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose
- one count of second-degree possession of a weapon by certain persons not to have possession of a weapon
Powe also faces charges of attempted kidnapping, robbery, false imprisonment, and weapons violations in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested.
He is being held on $1 million bail in the Montgomery County Jail.
Cherry Hill Police identified Powe as a possible suspect in the Plaza Grande Apartment incidents on December 2, and shared that information with the police in Lower Merion; he was charged in connection with the alleged crimes in Cherry Hill on December 11.
In a statement Friday, Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer praised the interstate collaborative efforts of multiple police agencies in the case.
“This was a complex case with many moving parts across state lines, and it required the careful cooperation of multiple agencies to result in these charges,” Mayer wrote.
“Cherry Hill Police detectives put in a lot of work to keep their community safe and informed, and the data we received from the Lower Merion Police Department and Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office was crucial in helping our major crimes assistant prosecutors move forward in filing charges in this case,” she said.
“We understand a lot of people have been very fearful after these incidents, especially in the Cherry Hill community, and we hope these charges highlight how seriously we take these actions,” Mayer concluded.
All persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. An arrest is not a conviction.
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