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Lower Burrell Dairy Queen robbed

| Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, 3:19 p.m.
Valley News Dispatch
Police investigate a robbery at the Dairy Queen along Greensburg Road in Lower Burrell on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012. Jason Bridge | Valley News Dispatch

A man brandished a knife to rob the Lower Burrell Dairy Queen at 305 Greensburg Road just after 2 p.m. Thursday.

Police are investigating whether the man may have robbed two other area stores this week.

Thursday afternoon's robber was in and out in minutes and took an undisclosed amount of money. There were no injuries.

Lower Burrell police Lt. Robert Galvanek said the robber was a “light-skinned black man or of mixed ethnicity,” who wore a dark-colored jacket with a hood or a hooded sweatshirt.

The robber was last seen driving a light-colored van or sports utility vehicle on Greensburg Road headed toward New Kensington.

Police said the Dairy Queen robber apparently watched the restaurant before robbing it.

“A witness told us he saw a man sitting in a van that he had backed in. The robber was watching the restaurant about an hour before he entered,” Galvanek said.

Galvanek said there are enough similarities to compare Thursday's crime to robberies in Washington Township and Delmont.In Washington Township Sunday night, a lone robber took money from the Fueland, at 1824 Hancock Ave.

The robber, who wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, brandished a knife and grabbed some Newport cigarettes before he left just after 11:30 p.m., township police said. That robber, too, was described as a light-skinned black man or man of mixed ethnicity.

Earlier on Thursday, a robber using a fork held up the Sunoco A-Plus Mini Mart, at 2394 Route 66, Delmont, at 3:30 a.m.

Scant details were released by Delmont police but they said the robber appeared to be a black man who was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt.

Delmont police don't know how he left.The Lower Burrell Dairy Queen had three employees inside but no customers. The robbery came just a day before a sad anniversary for the restaurant.Last year on Oct. 12, Lower Burrell Patrolman Derek Kotecki was killed while trying to arrest a fugitive in the Dairy Queen parking lot.

Contractor Wayne Grguric, of Clarksburg, near Saltsburg, said he was at the Dairy Queen perhaps an hour before Kotecki was killed.

Grguric Excavating was back in the area on Thursday to excavate an area along a road behind the Dairy Queen.

“Today, I walked past the backed-in van to get an ice cream cone, and I thought that was odd. Very odd.

“And to think that I was here on both days. How weird is that?”

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

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