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2 in custody after robbery, shooting in Reading, police say

Published On: Feb 06 2013 07:08:13 AM EST   Updated On: Feb 06 2013 06:15:25 PM EST

Two wanted men are off the streets in Reading after they terrorized a city block early Wednesday, said police.


Two wanted men are off the streets in Reading after they terrorized a city block early Wednesday, said police.

It was a wild morning that left one man shot and a group of men without their clothes.    

The two suspects were arrested minutes after two separate attempted armed robberies, said police. 


Residents in the area of North 11th and Walnut streets woke up to the sound of gunfire and flashing lights around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday.

"I jumped out of bed, looked out the window and heard cops saying get down on the ground, they already had them," said Rachelle Sickler, who lives on the corner of North 11th and Walnut streets.

According to police, Alexander Aquino-Oquendo, 19, and Jeremiah Santiago, 20, tried to rob three men at Mulberry and Walnut streets.

"The victims didn't initially believe this was happening to them and a shot was discharged," said Capt. Damond Kloc, Reading Police Dept.

No one was hit, but the three victims were then told to remove their clothes, said police.

Less than a block away, the suspects approached two other men on North 11th Street, said police.

Multiple shots were fired, and one man was reportedly shot in the arm.

"I have two babies, that means we can't come outside and play because we have to worry about someone trying to rob you after dark," said Nina Rosario, who heard the gunshots.

According to investigators, the men ditched their getaway car, a Volkswagen Beetle, but they were found minutes later and taken into custody.

Two guns were recovered near the scene, said police.

Aquino-Oquendo was wanted for aggravated assault charges. Investigators have been searching for him since January after he allegedly fired shots into a home in the 1100 block of Cotton Street. People were in the home, but luckily no one was hit, said police.

Santiago was wanted for violating probation, said police.

Now, residents are crediting the officers who made the quick arrests.

"There was two cop cars right here at the intersection already, I guess they were just driving around and happened to be in the right spot at the right moment, which is pretty good," said Karl Thomson, who lives feet from where the shots were fired.

The victim shot was taken to the hospital, but his injuries are not considered serious.

Police said the two suspects will likely face a long list of charges that could include attempted homicide.