Money exchangers on their way home with more than $420,000 in cash stuffed into a silver suitcase were robbed at gunpoint in Roxbury, launching a dragnet by police who tracked down the dough and arrested three men within hours.
The startling call went out for the armed robbery Tuesday at 5:40 p.m. and ended in the arrests nearly five hours later. The three men were arraigned yesterday. Police report the money is in custody.
“The preliminary investigation suggests a planned robbery targeting a commercially-owned cash transfer service,” said Jake Wark, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley.
Adnan Tahlil, 23, of Roxbury was arraigned yesterday on charges of armed robbery, receiving stolen property, and possession of a Class B substance. His bail was set at $75,000.
Lee Harvey, 24, of Dorchester was charged with receiving stolen property and held on $50,000 bail.
Merih Tekleghiorghis, 25, of Brookline was charged with receiving stolen property. His bail was set at $5,000.
All three are due back in court July 26.
The money service employees work for an unidentified business on Tremont Street that sends money for clients to family members in other countries.
Two cars, a Mercedes-Benz and a Toyota, blocked the victims’ car on Cedar Street, robbing them of the cash, police said.
Cops then were called in deploying “takedown” and “surveillance” cars as they tracked the suspects, the report states.
Members of the department’s Youth Violence Strike Force joined in the hunt. Police said they “immediately recognized” the two cars used in the robbery.
The three suspects — and the piles of cash adding up to $420,339 — were cornered on Dudley Street in Dorchester about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“Officers pulled out onto Dudley Street behind the vehicle and initiated cruiser lights and sirens to conduct a threshold inquiry,” police said.
“Due to the prior robbery act … which involved multiple suspects and at least one firearm was used, coupled with the fact that an individual had just quickly entered and exited the residence of a potential suspect, all occupants were asked to step out of the vehicle,” police added.
Police reported they tracked down three suspects and recovered all the money less than five hours later.
A man answering the phone at Dahabshil Inc.’s headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, told the Herald last night it’s “not normal” for employees to drive around with that much money.
As for the heist, he added Boston police told him the case is “still under investigation.” The man, who declined to give his name, said the company has “taken the necessary steps” to alert employees to what happened.