Man Arrested, Charged With Hymie's Robbery
Michael Shawn Schaefer has been charged in connection to the armed robbery of Hymie's Deli. Police are looking for three more suspects.
Update: Read Ardmore Patch's recap of Schaefer's preliminary hearing.
A suspect has been arrested in connection with the Hymie's Deli robbery that occurred on July 14, according to a Lower Merion Township news release issued Tuesday afternoon.
Michael Shawn Schaefer, 40, was charged on July 25 with 20 counts of robbery with threat of immediate serious injury, four counts of robbery using force, four counts of theft by unlawful taking, and one count of prohibited firearm possession, among other lesser charges, according to court documents.
Hymie's Deli, located at 342 Montgomery Ave. in Merion, was robbed at gunpoint on July 14 by four suspects. Deli employees and patrons were ordered to the ground and had wallets and cell phones stolen, according to police. An 18-year-old Hymie's cashier dialed 911 during the robbery.
On July 24, Lower Merion detectives, with the assistance of Philadelphia Police,
located and arrested Schaefer in the area of S. Fairhill Street in Philadelphia, according to the release.
Schaefer was arraigned July 25 and his bail was set at $500,000 cash. Police were not immediately available to explain why Schaefer's arrest was not announced right away. According to court documents, Schaefer has not met bail and is still being held at Montgomery County Prison.
Police have not released information on other robbery suspects, and Lower Merion police were not immediately available for comment. According to the release, "the investigation is continuing in order to identify and charge additional suspects in this robbery."
“The Lower Merion police did a fabulous job in putting together the pieces of the puzzle—and for such a horrible experience in terms of what happened, to see them operate and put this together the way they did was really very impressive,” said Lou Barson, the owner of Hymie’s Deli.
Barson said police had kept him as much in the loop as they could regarding the investigation, and said he had been aware that the investigation was continuing and police were honing in on suspects.
Regarding the arrest of other suspects, "I think it’s only a matter of time," Barson said. "When you’ve got the pieces of the puzzle all out on the table, which I think the Lower Merion police do, ... it narrows down what you’ve got left—they'll crack the rest."
The is the first time Hymie's had experienced anything like this in 23 years, Barson said, and aside from the robbery itself, the response was really lucky.
"From Michelle dialing 911 to the Lower Merion police reacting so quickly, it helped put things on the right track."
"This robbery violated one of our core community institutions and undermined many of our neighbors' sense of personal security," said Commissioner Brian Gordon, in a comment on the Narberth-Bala Cynwyd Patch Facebook page. "The arrest is a huge step toward restoring a sense of normalcy here. We all owe a debt of gratitude for the effectiveness and responsiveness shown by our police department."
Sales have been steady for July and August at the popular Merion deli, Barson said.
"Fortunately, I don’t think anybody has skipped their corned beef sandwich because of this," Barson said. "Let’s put it that way."
A preliminary hearing for Schaeffer is scheduled for Aug. 8 at 12 p.m. at the Magisterial District Court 38-02-04, 111 Union Ave., Bala Cynwyd.