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PHILADELPHIA -- A quick-thinking bank teller is being credited with helping to save the lives of seven people who were being held hostage.
Police say three gunmen broke into the Levittown Trace Apartments on Ford Road in Pennsylvania's Bristol Township early Monday morning. The men, identified as 38-year-old Orlando McNeil, 21-year-old Daesean Smith and 18-year-old Dennis Redding, allegedly held four adults and three children hostage at gunpoint inside the complex. Police say the group, which included two toddlers, was held captive for over nine hours.
According to the Philly Burbs, one of the victims had recently received an $80,000 payout on his late mother’s life insurance policy. Police say the men demanded that he withdraw the entire amount or they would harm his family.
Police say the victim went to a nearby PNC Bank around 10 a.m. on Monday and asked the teller for $80,000 in cash, claiming his family and friends had been kidnapped. That’s when, police say, the bank teller sprang into action.
“The alert teller contacted the police,” said Lieutenant Terry Hughes of the Bristol Township Police Department. “At that point we happened to be in the area and at the right place at the right time.”
Officers responded to the apartment where they found the three suspects. Police say Smith and Redding tried to flee but were quickly captured while McNeil managed to escape. He was later found and arrested Monday night. Investigators say McNeil was the mastermind behind the kidnapping and ransom scheme. Police also say they recovered two guns near the complex.
The three men are charged with kidnapping, robbery, burglary and other related offenses