SOMERS POINT — Four Atlantic County men, including a prominent local businessman, have been arrested on charges related to an arson police say was intended to cover up evidence of a violent home invasion and robbery in Philadelphia.
The businessman, Greg Sykora, 56, who owns ERCO Ceiling, Blinds & Floors on Chestnut Street, was charged March 10 with obstruction of justice, hindering apprehension or prosecution, and witness tampering.
Sykora did not respond to requests for comment. He is active with the Somers Point Business Association, the Somers Point Economic Advisory Commission and the Somers Point Republican Club.
Kristopher Akarman, 47, of Somers Point; Thomas Andrews, 53, of Galloway Township; and Morton Perskie, 65, of Galloway Township, were charged with arson, tampering with evidence and conspiracy.
In addition, Akarman and Andrews have been charged by Philadelphia police with robbery. They are being held in the Atlantic County jail awaiting extradition to Philadelphia.
SOMERS POINT — Homeowners along Laurel Drive have long asked for relief from bumper-to-bumpe…
According to Somers Point police, officers investigated a Feb. 9 fire determined to be arson at Sure Storage on Chestnut Avenue. Sykora owns the storage facility, which is adjacent to the ERCO property.
Investigators determined the items burned were evidence and property belonging to the victim of a violent home invasion in Philadelphia on Feb. 9, police Chief Robert Somers said in a news release.
On March 10, no-knock warrants were executed at three residences in Atlantic County, during which authorities seized methamphetamines, firearms and clothing worn by the suspects in the Philadelphia robbery, police said. Sykora’s residence was not among those searched, Somers said.
Perskie, Andrews and Akarman were initially taken to the Atlantic County jail and released on summonses, police said.
SOMERS POINT — It’s been a long process, but on Wednesday, city officials were finally able …
Sykora was charged and released on a summons, Somers said. He was not taken to the jail.
Akarman was rearrested and taken to the jail after being charged in Philadelphia, but Andrews remained a fugitive until Thursday, when he was arrested by the Atlantic County Sheriff’s Fugitive Warrant Squad. He was again taken to the county jail and charged as a fugitive from justice awaiting extradition to Philadelphia.
“We have no information at this time,” the Philadelphia Police Department’s Office of Media Relations/Public Affairs spokesperson said Thursday when asked for details on the home invasion and robbery Feb. 9.
The Somers Point case is being investigated by Detective Peter Burns. Further charges may be coming.
Mayor Jack Glasser declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.
The fire Feb. 9 was unrelated to a Jan. 30, 2020, fire at Sure Storage that destroyed theater stage props, costumes and other items belonging to the Gateway Playhouse, the Somers Point School District and the Middle Township School District.
“The other fire (Jan. 30) was accidental by a unit tenant,” Somers said in an email. “Nevertheless, he was charged with criminal mischief as a result. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred.”
Contact Michelle Brunetti Post: 609-272-7219