Disabled pastor robbed in Medford, NJ; 5 arrests
MEDFORD, N.J. - July 23, 2013 (WPVI) -- Police have arrested five men and are searching for two more in a series of robberies targeting a disabled pastor in Burlington County.
Raul Medina can't walk and has limited use of his hands. He also has a pretty impressive jewelry collection.
Medford police say a group of young men led by Mark Halcomb and Dominic Juliano decided to repeatedly burglarize and rob the 47-year-old as he lay helpless in his home behind the Liberty Tabernacle church where Medina is a pastor.
"The third time," said Medina, "two of them came into the house. I didn't know where they were at, and the two guys picked the safe up and carried it, unplugged the Life Alert and carried it out the door."
Medina says that safe contained $30,000 worth of jewelry and other valuables.
Halcomb knew it, because Medina says he's known the 19 year old for years.
Halcomb knew Medina has been a paraplegic since a 2007 car accident and was often home alone at night.
But with the help of some area pawn shops and tips, investigators soon zeroed in on the suspects.
"It was through interviews and additional information that the detectives were able to gather and learn, in fact, Mr. Halcomb and Mr. Juliano talked about killing this man," said Medford Police Lieutenant Jeffrey Wagner.
Police say the two were attempting to kill Medina when an accomplice, Mohamed Abdelfatah, stepped in to help.
"Fortunately another subject involved in the burglary noticed this and didn't want anything to do with a murder or assault and took the knife away from the suspect," said Wagner.
Abdelfatah is currently wanted by police, charged with robbery, burglary and theft, while Halcomb and Juliano face attempted murder charges.
"The young man stepped in," said Medina. "He didn't have to step in, but I'm glad he did or we wouldn't be having this conversation probably."
new jersey news, burglary, assault, burlington county news, local/state, chad pradelli
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