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Two arrested just hours after allegedly holding up Richland Twp. store
Police said they have two suspects in custody accused of attempting to rob a Richland township convenience store early Tuesday morning.
Police tell 6 News it was a juvenile who walked into the Honey Bear Mini Mart along Elton Road around 8 a.m., armed with a pellet gun. When he didn't get the cash he wanted, police said, he ran out of the store and used the help of a friend to get away.
A 6 News crew arrived
shortly after police and watched as several officers surrounded the store, knocking on doors and using police K-9's to check bushes and dumpsters. They also got the help of neighboring departments and it turns out, once again, that's what helped nab the suspects: departments working together and sharing information.
"Once (the clerk) realized what was happening, when he presented himself in the store, she went into a back room and shut the door," said Detective Kevin Gaudlip of the Richland Township Police Department. "The individual did not get any cash from this location."
In fact police believe the suspect was only able to get away with four packs of cigarettes before running out the door and jumping into a getaway car.
"Using the surveillance footage and doing some followup with other police departments in the area, we identified a potential suspect in the case," said Gaudlip. "He's a 16-year-old juvenile that was reported as a runaway and was involved in an incident last night in Geistown Borough."
About three hours after the attempted robbery, police tracked down what they called "a vehicle of interest" at a home on Kring Street and found both suspects inside.
"Both of them have subsequently been interviewed
and have admitted to their involvement in this robbery today," said Gaudlip. "The handgun that was used was a pellet gun. It is a very close looking replica of a semi-automatic handgun and if you look, it even says Smith and Wesson on the side of it."
Police said the getaway driver, Zachary Wissinger, 19, owned the pellet gun, but police said it doesn't change the severity of the charges both men are facing.
"It was reported to be a weapon and it was used in this manner and displayed as a weapon," said Gaudlip. "It doesn't matter if it's a toy gun or if it's the real gun."
Both men have been taken to jail, where they'll be arraigned. They're facing charges of robbery, retail theft and terroristic threats, among others.
Police said the juvenile will be charged as an adult.