Episode 128: Stephen Heaney – Philadelphia Tow Truck Ambush

Retired agent Stephen Heaney served in the FBI for more than 25 years. His entire career was spent at the Philadelphia Division working, primarily, major thefts and violent crimes. In the episode of FBI Retired Case File Review, Steve Heaney reviews a tow truck ambush case where two tow-truck operators hauling confiscated cars for the FBI as part of a drug investigation were ambushed at a busy Center City intersection by gunmen attempting to steal the cars back. During Steve’s career, he served as a firearms instructor and was a SWAT team leader. For ten years, he was the FBI liaison  was the FBI liaison with the Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia. He was later appointed as the Violent Crime Squad supervisor and then the Health Care Fraud Squad supervisor. He was also the Crisis Management and SWAT Team Coordinator.

Stephen Heaney

Supervisory Special Agent

7/14/1991 – 12/31/2016









“The tow truck driver shouted back to the men, ‘These cars belong to the FBI and we’re not dropping them.’ That’s when the shooting started.”

The following are newspaper articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News about the tow truck ambush investigation:
















Philadelphia Inquirer – Daily News – April 11 2002 – Feds seize van eyed in shootout

Philadelphia Inquirer – March 30 2004 – Jury begins deliberations in tow-truck hijacking trial

Philadelphia Daily News – March 31 2004 – Rap groupie guilty in carjack plot


Jerri Williams

View posts by Jerri Williams
Jerri Williams, a retired FBI agent, author and podcaster, attempts to relive her glory days by writing crime fiction and hosting FBI Retired Case File Review, a true crime podcast available for free subscription on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, and other popular podcast apps. Her nonfiction book FBI Myths and Misconceptions: A Manual for Armchair Detectives and her FBI corruption squad police procedurals featuring Special Agent Kari Wheeler are available wherever books are sold.

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