Armed suspect robs check-cashing business at Lancaster Square

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By Greg Summers

Local authorities are searching for the suspect who robbed a check cashing business at gunpoint just before 2:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7.

“The clerk is naturally shook up, but everybody is OK,” said Lancaster Police Chief Harlean Howard at the scene, after an armed man walked inside CA$H USA, 947-A Lancaster Square Shopping Center, and held up the business. CA$H USA is between Merle Norman Cosmetics and a vacant storefront. 

Howard said the suspect is described as a heavy-set black man, “who is at least 6-foot, 4 inches tall.”

Howard said the man was wearing a black shirt and light-colored (possibly gray) pants.

“Right now, that’s about all we can tell you,” Howard said. “Our officers are questioning those in the area, who may have seen something.” 

Lancaster Police Department Capt. Scott Grant said in a short press release issued Tuesday, Oct. 8, a suspect entered the business about 2:20 p.m. Monday, presented a firearm and demanded money from the clerk. 

After getting an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect ordered the clerk to the floor and tied her up before fleeing in an unknown direction, the release said.

According to police radio traffic, the suspect was wearing a black ski mask, a black hoodie and had a black backpack. 

It is unknown if he fled on foot or in a vehicle alone or with someone, or what direction he headed. 

Moments after the armed robbery, a police officer en route saw a man wearing black leaving Arby’s in a beige Chevrolet Impala. 

Due to the similar clothing description, police conducted a felony car stop on Woodland Drive just west of the North Main Street intersection and detained the driver. 

After determining the man was not involved, he was released.

Because of their proximity to the shopping center and the felony car stop, North Elementary School and Lancaster High School were placed on lockdown for about 30 minutes as a safety precaution.

Police sealed off the area around the check cashing business and started talking to possible witnesses. For a short time, shoppers and employees of neighboring businesses stood around on the sidewalk.

“Armed robbery? Another one? I hope everyone is OK,” said a woman, who stopped in the parking lot to see what was happening before returning to her car and driving away.  

The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Units, along with deputies and county detectives, arrived to help. Police cleared up from the scene just after 4 p.m.

This is the second time an area check-cashing business has been robbed in the last month. 

On Sept. 19, a man armed with a handgun robbed Check Into Cash, 1232 S.C. 9 Bypass West. The business is located in the Lancer Square shopping center, in between Hibbett Sports and two vacant storefronts. 

The suspect in the Check Into Cash robbery was described as 6 feet tall, weighing 200 pounds, wearing all black and a black ski mask. The man reportedly fled the scene in a green SUV.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the Lancaster Police Department at (803) 283-1171, (803) 283-3313, or the LPD’s anonymous tip hotline at (803) 289-6040. For emergency situations, call 911.


Contact copy editor Greg Summers at (803) 283-1156