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Press Release

Man Convicted of Attempted Gunpoint Robbery of Trolley Car Diner in Northwest Philadelphia

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Keenan Smith, 29, of Philadelphia was convicted today at trial with attempted robbery which interferes with interstate commerce, and using or carrying, and discharging, a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

On January 31, 2018, the defendant entered the Trolley Car Diner, located in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia, through a side door before the diner opened for business. He waited outside the manager’s office with a gun. When the manager arrived, the defendant pointed the gun at the manager’s head and told him not to move. The manager attempted to disarm the defendant, who shot himself in the hand before fleeing. The defendant sought medical treatment at nearby Roxborough Memorial Hospital, and was later arrested by the Philadelphia Police Department.

“The complete disregard that Smith had for the safety of others is appalling,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “The manager of this restaurant was simply showing up to do his job, and the defendant laid in wait for him and then put a gun to his head. No one should have to deal with this type of violence at their place of business or in their neighborhood. The streets of Philadelphia are safer now that the defendant has been convicted and will be held accountable for his crimes.”

“Keenan Smith attempted a violent armed robbery, terrorizing his victim at gunpoint,” said Michael T. Harpster. “He is a danger to the public, and today’s conviction ensures he’ll remain off the street for quite some time. The FBI and our law enforcement partners are committed to making this community safer by bringing to justice those willing to engage in violent crime.”

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Philadelphia Police Department, with assistance from the Whitemarsh Township Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tim Stengel.


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Philadelphia, PA 19106

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Updated August 22, 2019

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Violent Crime