Authorities seek leads in robbery cases

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By Chris Sardelli

Authorities are searching for the men involved in three armed robberies and one attempted robbery earlier this week.
Two armed robberies occurred at convenience stores, as did the attempted robbery. One man was held up by a robber as he was leaving his home, a report said.
Deputies responded to reports of an armed robbery at the AMPM Gas & Grill, 1553 Lynwood Dr., on Monday. A store employee told deputies that a man walked into the store about 10 p.m., pulled out a handgun and demanded money.
The employee said he opened the cash register and handed the man about $400 in cash, cigarettes and a box of cigars, according to an incident report. He said the man then ran from the store in the direction of Alpha Pets.
Based on footage from the store’s surveillance camera, deputies said the robber is a white man, about 5-feet, 6-inches tall. He was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans and a blue bandanna pulled over his face.
Deputies used a tracking dog to search the area, but could not find the robber.
Unity Grocery robbery
Deputies responded to an armed robbery at Unity Grocery store, 3010 Unity Church Road, on Tuesday morning.
Deputies spoke to an employee who said two white men robbed her business about 8:30 p.m. She told deputies that she was sitting at the bar inside the store speaking with two customers when the two men came inside and said, “This is a hold up.”
One of the men was holding a gun, while the other was holding a knife, an incident report said.
The three witnesses said the man with the gun asked the store employee to give him the “big bills.” He went behind the counter with the employee to get the money, while the other robber held the two customers at knife point, the report said.
About that time, the phone started ringing, and the man with the knife started screaming and jumped over the counter. He threw the telephone against the wall, two customers told deputies.
The man with the gun then grabbed an undisclosed amount of money out of the register and two boxes of cigars, the report said. Deputies said the two men took money from the three people in the store.
A second store employee was in the store’s cooler, but walked back into the store as the robbery was taking place, the report said.
The witnesses said they saw the robbers run out of the store toward Unity Church Road. Deputies used a tracking dog to search the area, but could not find the robbers.
The store employee told deputies that the man with the gun was wearing tan pants, with red shorts underneath, a black hooded sweatshirt and had a bandanna over his face. She said the other man was wearing blue jeans,  a black hooded sweatshirt and had a bandanna over his face.
The man with the gun had some type of charcoal-coloring under his eyes, the report said. Both robbers are between 5-feet, 6-inches and 5-feet, 7-inches tall and weigh about 150 pounds. Both wore gloves during the holdup.
Sheriff Barry Faile said deputies are searching for suspects in both cases.
Man robbed at gunpoint
A Lancaster man told police that he was robbed at gunpoint Monday as he was leaving his West Gay Street home to go to work. He told police that a man approached the driver’s side of his car, put a gun to back of his head and said, “Give me all your money.”
He told police that he gave the assailant $60 and a set of car keys. He said the assailant hit him in the head with the handgun, according to an incident report. The man told officers that the assailant ran away pointing the handgun at him, yelling, “Don’t move.”
The victim said the man who robbed and attacked him is 6 feet tall with a slim build. He was wearing all black and had a black hat on.
Man enters store with gun
City officers responded to a silent panic alarm at Midway Grocery, 426 W. Meeting St., on Wednesday.
Officers met with the store owner and his wife about 6:43 p.m., about five minutes after the robbery. The couple told officers they had not been harmed.
Officers reviewed footage from the store’s surveillance camera, which showed a man open the front door and shoot his hangun into the air, before entering the store.
The owner and his wife locked themselves in a back office as the man came into the store, the report said. The owner told officers that the man yelled for them to come out, but they did not.
A minute later, the assailant is seen on the footage leaving the store and running toward Wylie Street, the report said. Nothing was taken from the store.
The assailant is described as a white man, about 5-feet, 5-inches tall. He was wearing a black jacket, black gloves, black toboggan, blue jeans and black shoes.
Officers found a .25-caliber round shell casing on the front door mat, the report said.
A tracking dog was used at the scene, which led officers to West Barr and Wylie streets, where the dog lost the trail.
Cpt. Harlean Howard said there are no suspects or arrests in either case. She said the department is still investigating.
If you know anything about any of these incidents, call the Lancaster Police Department at (803) 283-1171 or (803) 283-3313, or the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 283-4136.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416