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Gas station robbery locks down Ford City High School

| Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, 1:26 a.m.

Ford City Police are looking for a robber who held up the FueLand gasoline station/convenience store on Thursday evening, prompting police to lock down the high school gym as the crowd attempted to leave a girls basketball game.

The store clerk, who was not identified, said the robber had an object in his pocket he claimed was a gun.

Sgt. John Atherton, Ford City officer-in-charge, said police were “looking at a couple of leads.”

The robber fled on foot with an undetermined amount of cash and a pack of Newport cigarettes about 8:30 p.m. The store is on Fifth Avenue.

That led police to order a lockdown at nearby Ford City High School, where a girls high school basketball game had just ended.

Authorities notified team officials from Ford City and Apollo-Ridge of the lockdown several minutes after the game ended at 8:50 p.m.

The lockdown was lifted about 9:15 p.m.

“When something like this happens, you take safety precautions,” said Ford City Mayor Marc Mantini.

“They did what they had to do to make sure everyone was safe with this guy on the loose.”

Atherton said that state police from the East Franklin barracks, Armstrong County sheriff's department personnel and officers from North Buffalo and Manor townships were involved in the investigation.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media. Leader Times Editor Jeffrey Savitskie contributed to this report.

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