Reading man accused of gunpoint robbery of nephew

Jul. 27—A Reading man, who has pending charges from city police that include being part of a chop-shop operation, robbed his own nephew of his car at gunpoint, investigators said.

Jose A. Lopez, 34, of the 1100 block of Douglass Street was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $70,000 bail to await a hearing after arraignment Wednesday night before District Judge Alvin B. Robinson in Reading Central Court.

He faces charges of robbery, making terrorist threats, and possessing a firearm while prohibited.

According to the criminal complaint:

Lopez met the car owner in the 1900 block of Alsace Road on June 25 after arranging to buy the 2018 Maserati. Lopez entered the car and proceeded to drive it with the owner beside him, toward Richmond Street.

Lopez pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the owner, ordering him repeatedly to get out of the car despite not having completed the transaction. The victim eventually complied. Lopez turned onto Hampden Boulevard before heading east on Route 12.

The victim told police his assailant was his uncle, who had recently been in jail.

According to court records, Reading police arrested Lopez in November 2021, alleging he was involved in a chop shop operation — harvesting parts from stolen vehicles. He was ordered held for court after a preliminary hearing in late 2021.

After missing court appearances, his bail was revoked this summer by Berks County Judge Thomas Parisi, who issued a bench warrant for his arrest.

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