Stevin Freeman nabbed in robbery of store in Reading
Bat-wielding suspect smashed game machine, cash register, police say
A Reading man is in custody for his alleged role in the armed robbery of a convenience store in the city last month.
Stevin Freeman, armed with a baseball bat, and another man robbed the Citi Mart in the 1700 block of Cotton Street on Dec. 17, while a third man stayed outside, police said.
Freeman, 19, who police said was wearing "a lot of makeup" and dresses like a woman, used the bat to smash a coin game machine, from which he then took a $100 bill and about $2 in change, according to court douments. Freeman, police said, then proceeded to the counter and smashed the cash register and other items with the bat before both men then fled the store.
Surveillance video revealed that all three men were inside the store the day before, playing the same coin game that was smashed during the robbery, according to court documents. One of the men, who has not yet been charged, later admitted to police that they went back to the store the next day for the $100 bill on display as the machine's jackpot prize.
Patrol officers stopped Freeman on an unrelated matter a few days after the robbery. He then agreed to an interview with investigators and admitted his role in the robbery, stating he was pressured into it by a member of the Bloods gang so that he could use the proceeds to buy drugs and make more money, according to court documents.
Freeman was arraigned Wednesday morning on robbery and related charges. He was committed to the Berks County Jail on $40,000 bail.
No other arrests have been made.
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