Sheetz robbery in Plum could be connected to others

| Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Plum police are working with surrounding departments to determine if there is a connection in a string of armed robberies.

Plum police Detective Kenneth Farmerie said robberies have occurred in Plum, Monroeville and Penn Hills.

Farmerie said borough police are looking for a light-skinned man in his mid-20s who robbed the Sheetz convenience store on Route 286 in the early morning hours of Jan. 29.

According to a police report, a shift supervisor observed a man loitering at the side door just before 3 a.m.

When the employee opened the door, the man pointed a semi-automatic handgun at his face.

Police said the gun appeared to be a Smith and Wesson.

The suspect ordered the shift supervisor to open the cash register and place the money on the counter.

The suspect placed the money inside his jacket and left the store in the direction of the Citizens Bank on Route 286.

No vehicle was seen, and no one was injured.

The suspect made off with $400, according to the report.

Witnesses said the suspect was wearing a gray hoodie jacket, black jeans and black Nike shoes.

The bottom portion of his face was covered with a black bandanna, police said.

Farmerie said police are following up on leads in an attempt to apprehend the suspect as soon as possible.

“The store was fairly busy,” Farmerie said.

“We don't want to see anyone get hurt.”

The detective encouraged anyone with information about the armed robbery to call Plum police at 412-793-7400.

Farmerie also is speaking with detectives in both the Monroeville and Penn Hills police departments after armed robberies in those towns.

Monroeville police said a man pointed a pistol at a cashier at the Sunoco gas station at the intersection of Mosside Boulevard and Northern Pike on Jan. 20 and escaped with cash.

The suspect ran toward the SpringHill Suites hotel between Mosside Boulevard and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, police said.

Officials with the Monroeville police department could not be reached for comment about the status of their investigation.

Penn Hills police Chief Howard Burton said a suspect fitting the description of the man who robbed the Sheetz in Plum robbed the Sunoco gas station and convenience store on Old William Penn Highway twice within a little more than a week.

Burton said the armed robberies occurred in the evening hours Jan. 24 and Saturday.

“He is working the area,” Burton said.

Karen Zapf is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8753, or

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