MEDIA — District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer today announced the arrest of Nile Ward, 19, and Jamir Hill, 27, both of Philadelphia, on charges of gunpoint carjacking and gunpoint robbery, as well as related firearms charges. The charges announced today arise out of four separate incidents: gunpoint carjackings in Darby Township and Collingdale, and gunpoint robberies in Yeadon and in Lower Merion. The arrests are the culmination of investigations by personnel from the police departments of Collingdale, Darby Township, Yeadon, and Lower Merion, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the County’s Criminal Investigation Division. Multiple weapons, narcotics and cash were seized in connection with the arrests.
“Recent press coverage has made clear that carjackings have been on the rise. These incidents are both terrifying and potentially deadly. Today we announce the arrest of two bad actors who came from Philadelphia to threaten our Delaware County communities. I pledge to the residents of Delaware County that we will prosecute these individuals to the fullest extent of the law, and I want the message to be loud and clear to anyone contemplating bringing this lawless action to Delaware County, we will pursue you, and we will prosecute you,” said District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer.
On February 25, 2022, Darby Township Officer Joseph Sturn responded to a report of an armed carjacking. The victim reported that he had been followed by two males in a Hyundai SUV, who then demanded his money and his keys. The actors drove off with the victim’s 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe. On March 14, the victim’s vehicle was stopped by Collingdale police officer Thayer McCauley. A search of the vehicle was conducted and a school identification card in the name of defendant Ward was recovered, as well as a receipt from a Walmart purchase made the day after the carjacking. Video surveillance from Walmart revealed an individual wearing a distinctive dark colored jacket with a “spade” or “ace” on the right breast area. A subsequent search of Instagram photos showed defendant Ward wearing the same jacket on March 3.
On March 1, Yeadon police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a 7-11 convenience store. The store employees stated that two black males in their twenties robbed them at gunpoint, taking $481. One of the males brandished a greenish Glock and one brandished a black Glock. One of the males was wearing a jacket with the same logo seen on the Walmart video surveillance. One of the actors had a small tattoo on the web of his left hand. Video surveillance from traffic cameras located near the 7-11 show that upon leaving the store, the males ran to the vehicle which had been carjacked on February 25.
On March 8, 2022, Lower Merion police responded to Glausangeles, Inc., a high-end clothing store located in Bryn Mawr. According to witness accounts, two black males entered the store armed with semi-automatic pistols and announced a robbery. One of the males held the store employees at gunpoint while the other removed assorted clothing and shoes with a retail value of $68,250. The actors fled in the vehicle stolen on February 25. One of the actors was described as wearing a jacket with the same logo as that identified in the Walmart surveillance video. Lower Merion Police Detective Gregory Pitchford was able to identify the Instagram accounts of the defendants, and an image of defendant Hill was collected in which he is wearing an item of stolen clothing. In addition, defendant Ward can be observed wearing the jacket with the distinctive logo, and a tattoo is noted on the web of his left hand. A review of defendant Ward’s prior arrest photograph confirmed the presence of a tattoo on his left hand.
On March 18, 2022, Collingdale police were dispatched to the Collingdale Smoke Shop for a report of a robbery. The victim stated that he had been approached by two black males, one of whom was brandishing a firearm. The actors removed the victim’s wallet and took the keys to his Audi A4. Video surveillance identified one of the actors as having a tattoo identical to Ward’s, as well as one the actors wearing an item of clothing stolen from the Bryn Mawr store on March 8. On March 19, the victim was notified that an attempt had been made to use his debit card at a store located on Market Street in Philadelphia. Investigation revealed that the store where the debit card attempt was made is one street away from the home of defendant Ward.
On March 24, 2022, the stolen Audi A4 was located and a search of its contents was conducted. Among the items identified was a prescription form and receipt in the name of Nile Ward.
During a search warrant executed on Ward’s residence on Monday, May 23rd, law enforcement recovered five illegal firearms including a F/N pistol loaded with 16 rounds, a Glock 27 loaded with 20 rounds with an extended magazine, a Glock 19 loaded with 15 rounds, a Glock 19 loaded with 21 rounds with an extended magazine, and a D.P.M.S. Model A-15 style rifle with 20 rounds. Also recovered was the black jacket worn by Hill and Ward in the surveillance videos and Instagram posts, stolen clothing from the Glausangeles robbery, crack cocaine, marijuana, scale, extra rounds and magazines, ski masks, and an auto-sear (typically utilized as an after-market component to make a pistol fully automatic).
“These arrests are the result of considerable cooperation and collaboration among law enforcement agencies. As the facts make clear, criminals cross jurisdictional lines, and so must we. I want to express my appreciation to Corporal William Carter of the Collingdale Borough Police Department, Corporal Lance Csanady of Darby Township Police Department, Detective Gregory Pitchford of the Lower Merion Police Department, FBI Agent Matthew Kessler, and Detective Leah Cesanek of the Yeadon Borough Police Department. Finally, I also want to thank Deputy Laurie Moore of my office for her leadership and dedication,” said District Attorney Stollsteimer.
At the time of their arrest, defendant Ward was on electronic home monitoring as a result of gun charges pending in Philadelphia, and defendant Hill was on parole resulting from a gun case in Delaware County. Bail was set at $1,000,000 (10 %) for both defendants. Both were committed to the George W. Hill Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 3, 2022 in front of District Magistrate Steven A. Sandone.
CRIMINAL CHARGES, AND ANY DISCUSSION THEREOF, ARE ALLEGATIONS AND ALL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNLESS AND UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY.
The District Attorney and the Criminal Investigation Division remind anyone in Delaware County who observes suspicious activity to call 911 immediately and provide the most specific and accurate details possible to assist law enforcement agencies investigating the call for service.
For more information contact Margie McAboy, Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, 610-579-0429.