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Robber hits state Wine & Spirits store in Charleroi

Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
The Wine and Spirts store on 3rd Street and McKean Ave. in Charleroi was robbed around 2:30 pm on Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014, 1:21 a.m.

A man claiming to have a gun robbed the Wine & Spirits Store in Charleroi on Wednesday afternoon.

The suspect fled on foot from the 105 Third St. store before getting into a tan-colored car and driving off.

According to Charleroi Regional Police, the suspect was described as a white male, 5-feet-6 to 5-feet-7 inches tall with a gray goatee. He was wearing a blue denim hooded jacket and blue jeans.

The suspect allegedly pulled the hood over his head about 2:30 p.m., walked up to the cashier and threatened to kill the employee if he did not give him the money in the cash register. The suspect had his hand in his pocket, claiming he had a gun. The robber never brandished a weapon.

The manager was there, but there were no customers in the store. The suspect took an undetermined amount of cash, police said.

Charleroi police said the store's surveillance video has not been operating “in a while.”

“Not having video certainly hampers our efforts,” Charleroi Regional Police Detective Eric Porter said. “It would help even having bad video.”

Wednesday's robbery is the third in more than a decade at the store.

Richard Heinzelman was convicted of robbing the store in 2003.

After serving time in jail for that crime, Heinzelman robbed the same store 10 days after being released from a halfway house.

Stacy Kriedeman, director of external affairs for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, said the agency is working closely with law enforcement.

“We're extremely thankful that nobody was hurt,” she said. “We will provide whatever assistance we can to law enforcement so they can find the perpetrator and bring that person to justice.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or



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