As Bakery Owner Remains in Critical Condition, Questions Remain About Robbery


There are still no suspects in the brutal robbery and shooting of a kosher bakery owner on Aug. 7 in Overbrook Park.

In a shocking robbery on the morning of Aug. 7, Ziza Djordevic was outside smoking a cigarette when she was approached by two men who shot her in the face and stole the apron where she keeps her money.
Djordevic, 56, who has been upgraded from critical to fait condition, is the owner of Best Cake Kosher Bakery on Haverford Avenue in the Overbrook Park section of the city. The bakery has been closed since the shooting.
Djordevic was able to call the police despite her injury and indicated to the police that there were two men involved. The suspects fled the scene.
An attempted robbery had occurred the previous Friday, which she successfully fought off but did not report. This has led police to believe that the suspects were the same ones involved in last Friday’s attack, according to reports from NBC10 and 6ABC.
As of now, no one is in custody and the investigation is still ongoing, said Officer Leeloni Palmiero from the media relations office at Philadelphia Police Department headquarters.
They could not determine if there is a connection yet for sure between the two incidents as the first one was not reported, she said. The first robbery was reported by businesses in the area, not Djordevic herself, according to Lt. John Walker of Southwest detectives.
The connection between the two may be that they both occurred on a Friday, which is when police believe Djordevic pays her employees, Walker said.
There are no surveillance cameras in the area at the moment, but they are working with contractors to install some in the parking lot where the attack occurred, he added.
“It’s been difficult until we can talk to her to get a better description of the offenders and a better idea of what happened,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to talk to her, and we will have more information by then.”
Those in the area who know Djordevic have nothing but good things to say about her.
“She is such a sweet lady,” said Hanna Dukes, who works at Shalom Pizzeria across the street. “She works very, very hard. She’s [one of] those people who gives second chances.”
Dukes mentioned that Djordevic is always keen on hiring people who may be down on their luck, adding that she hires those with criminal backgrounds and “welcomes them with open hands.”
“She is an amazing human being,” Dukes said. She has known Djordevic for 10 years. “It’s very sad. I just pray she will be OK, that’s all I can say.”
As of Aug. 10, Djordevic has been pronounced to be in “fair condition,” said Susan Phillips, senior vice president of public affairs at the Penn Presbyterian Hospital, where Djordevic is being treated. Djordevic is conscious, and her vital signs are stable and within or close to normal limits, Phillips said.
Other members of the Overbrook Park community are shocked that this happened.
This was an “unusual” circumstance, said William Nasir, president of the Haverford Avenue Business Association.
“We’ve never really experienced this before; it seems she was targeted,” he said.
The community participated in National Night Out last Monday, Nasir said, which is typical of the community as hundreds of people showed up and mingled together.
Members of Overbrook Park usually feel safe, he said, adding that they’ve often asked for a stronger police presence but were told they didn’t need it because it is one of the safer neighborhoods in the city.
He said there have been talks since the incident of planning a town meeting with Town Watch Integrated Services to talk to the local businesses about safety, which has not been scheduled yet. The Overbrook Park Civic Association is also very concerned about the incident and will be present at the meeting, Nasir said.
 “It really felt like a slap in the face that somebody would come into our community and do something like that,” he said of the attack.
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