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Alleged Versailles bank robber caught

| Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, 1:06 a.m.

An Export woman accused of robbing a PNC Bank in Versailles is in Allegheny County Jail.

Sarah D. Vercauteren, 25, is being held on $20,000 bond for a robbery that occurred Tuesday at about 2:30 p.m. in the Olympia Shopping Center.

Vercauteren, who reportedly left her 2-year-old child unattended in the car, allegedly attempted to rob a nearby Subway restaurant as well.

She is charged with robbery, criminal attempt, endangering the welfare of children and two counts of reckless endangerment of another person.

Versailles police Chief Charles Roka said Vercauteren passed a note to attendants at both businesses stating she had a gun and wanted their money.

Roka said the suspect went to the bank first and obtained an envelope, then went to the Subway. When her attempt failed, she returned to the bank, gave an employee the note and received less than $1,000, the chief said.

One of the victims gave police a description and Vercauteren's vehicle was stopped by McKeesport police along Evans Street in the city.

Roka said his department is appreciative of McKeesport for its rapid apprehension of the suspect. He said Vercauteren was in custody within about 10 minutes.

Roka said Vercauteren never showed a gun at either business and no weapon was recovered.

“She left the child in the car in sub-zero weather while she went in those places,” the chief said.

He said the child was turned over to Vercauteren's family, and Allegheny County Office of Children, Youth and Families was notified.

Vercauteren's preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Thomas Miller is scheduled for Jan. 13.

Eric Slagle is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1966, or eslagle@tribweb.com.

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