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1 man arrested in store robbery

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By Jenny Arnold

jarnold@thelancasternews.com

One man has been charged in an armed robbery at Hot Deals clothing store Wednesday night in which a store employee was hit on the back of a head with a pistol.

Demarco Fonte Blair, 19, 525-B Meeting St., has been charged by the Lancaster Police Department with armed robbery.

According to a Lancaster Police Department incident report, police responded to Hot Deals, in Lancers Center on S.C. 9 Bypass,  about 6:45 p.m. and found the 31-year-old employee bleeding from the head. The employee said he had been hit on the back of the head with a gun.

The report said Blair walked into the store while talking on his cell phone. He asked about a pair of jeans and the employee said he had to walk to the stock room to get a pair in that size.

The worker said while he was in the stockroom, someone walked up behind him and hit him on the head with a pistol. The worker said when he hit the floor, he saw two other men lying on the floor beside the register, the report said.

The man with the pistol pointed the gun at the worker and told him to sit down and empty his pockets, the report said. Another one of the subjects in the store came up and snatched the worker’s cash and cell phone from his hands. After the men left the store, the store employee called the police.

A witness told officers that he noticed a cream-colored or white Ford Explorer pull into the parking lot of the Jameson Inn and that three people got out of the SUV and walked toward BiLo, the report said. Minutes later, the witness said he saw three people running down a hill toward the SUV. The people got into the vehicle and sped off, the report said. The witness said one of the people dropped a black bandanna, which police recovered. Another witness said she saw the people running toward the Jameson Inn, the report said, and knew that one of them was Blair.

According to the report, the gunman was wearing a black shirt, black jeans and black bandanna on his face. The other men were wearing red shirts and red bandannas.

Two hats were taken from the store and dropped in front of BiLo, the report said. The value of the hats was listed on the report at $20 total. The men took an undisclosed amount of cash from the store employee.

Police Chief Hugh White said Blair was arrested at his home on Central Avenue later Wednesday night.

The store employee was able to identify Blair, the report said.

Blair remained at the Lancaster County Detention Center on Thursday. His bond had not been set by press time.

Anyone with information about the case may call the Lancaster Police Department at 283-1171.

Contact senior reporter Jenny Hartley at 283-1151