Police: Alleged getaway driver in robbery-turned-shooting arrested

Police: Two men killed after robbing corner store

READING, Pa. - A person who police said was driving the would-be getaway car following a deadly robbery in Reading has been arrested.

The two masked men who robbed Kricks Korner, 1671 N. 9th St., were shot and killed by a private citizen Monday afternoon, police said.

Alexander Garcia-Bialek, 21, was arrested at his Fleetwood home around 11:30 p.m. Monday.

Detectives said the masked robbers were fleeing with money, cigarettes and lottery tickets when they were confronted.

Garcia-Bialek was expected to drive them away from the robbery, but when the two men stepped outside, a scuffle ensued between them and a concerned, armed citizen, police said. Shots were fired, leaving both suspects dead.

"Very bold. He was very brave," said Berks County District Attorney John Adams of the man who shot them. "He told these individuals to stop and 'I am calling the police,' and that is when these individuals drew their guns, and there was a little scuffle and I think that he used deadly force before deadly force may have been used on him."

The case, however, was not closed when the shots were fired. Adams said he will not charge the man who shot and killed the suspects, but Garcia-Bialek is facing 2nd degree murder, robbery and conspiracy charges for his alleged role in the robbery. 

Police said the concerned citizen, who is a friend of the store's owner, did have a license to carry a gun. The DA said he does not condone violence in the streets, but in this case, he said he believes the concerned citizen acted within the law and he does not expect to file charges.

"None of us want to see violence in our streets. We do not as business owners. They were violated by the actions of these two individuals," said Adams.

Police Chief Bill Heim said a concerned citizen taking matters into his own hands is unusual but it has happened before.

"It is unusual, but it is certainly not unheard of. We have had several occasions over the past few years where citizens have been in such situations," Heim said.

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