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Elizabeth Township gas station robber sought

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Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 2:41 a.m.

Elizabeth Township police are being assisted by officers from Allegheny County and other local departments in the search for a masked robber.

The lone robber accosted a clerk at the BP along Smithfield Street in the township's Boston neighborhood on Wednesday around 6 p.m.

“We had a guy walk into the station with a dark hoodie, black jacket, ski mask and gloves,” township police Chief Robert McNeilly said. “He was a white male with blue eyes. When he left there he fled on foot on Smithfield Street toward the Boston Bridge.”

While early reports indicated it may have been an armed robbery, authorities were not clear late on Wednesday about whether a weapon was involved.

“There were a lot of agencies that came in to help,” McNeilly said. “Allegheny County detectives were called in, as well as McKeesport K-9 officers and ... there were quite a few departments.”

The clerk on duty was alone at the time of the robbery. No injuries were reported.

McNeilly said surveillance video is being studied at the BP as well as other nearby businesses.

It is the second robbery in the Boston area in recent months. On July 29 at around 11 p.m., the American Natural station along Smithfield Street was robbed during an overnight stretch in which McKeesport and White Oak convenience stores also were robbed.

Jeffrey Betters, 45, of the township's Greenock section was arrested on July 30 after a high-speed chase through several municipalities. He was charged in the McKeesport and White Oak holdups.

Betters remains in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of bond. He was formally arraigned in the McKeesport robbery on Oct. 25 and faces formal arraignment in the White Oak case on Nov. 19.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or

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