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Youngwood's Hayden's Pharmacy robbed; suspect nabbed

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Monday, June 11, 2012, 10:00 p.m.

Customers began streaming into Hayden's Pharmacy in Youngwood at 3:20 p.m. Tuesday after police officers investigating an apparent robbery had left the business.

Within an hour of the robbery, police arrested and charged Joseph Allen Evans of Oak Avenue, Greensburg. He faces robbery and related charges and was placed in Westmoreland County jail in lieu of $20,000 bond.

Marlene Tessler of Youngwood said she was shocked to learn of the incident. She has been getting prescriptions filled there for years.

"This is a small town; nobody ever does anything (here)," she said, while waiting for a "temporarily closed" sign to be removed from the pharmacy's door.

State police issued an alert just after 2 p.m. for Evans, who police said was armed with a handgun. Police caught Evans about a half-hour after the robbery near the Sheetz convenience store a few blocks away.

According to a state police news release, Evans entered the store wearing a hoodie and mask and brandished a firearm, which was later determined to be a BB gun. Police said Evans demanded Oxycontin, Opano and Oxy IR's. Police said he made off with $2,000 worth of medication, all of which was recovered.

Hayden's Pharmacy is along Route 119, locally known as North Fourth Street, in a small building that houses physical therapy offices. Heavy traffic passes the small plaza regularly.

Nicole Cole said she couldn't help state police who inquired if she had seen a possible suspect. Cole lives across North Fourth Street from the pharmacy and said she normally keeps her front door open, but not yesterday.

State police forensics investigators left the pharmacy with a bag of evidence in an envelope. Workers inside declined to comment.

A sign outside the Youngwood pharmacy said it has been in business since 1992. It was then owned by Mary Hayden. Edward Christofano purchased it about 15 years ago and opened a second location in Greensburg last year, according to the pharmacy's website. He is a pharmacist, as well as the owner and operator.

He is involved in the community as vice president of the Youngwood Area Business Association, five-year chairman of past Youngwood Light-Up Nights and member of various other community groups, according to the pharmacy website.

Christofano declined to comment through an email on Tuesday.

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