Share This Page

Clerks injured in robberies in Westmoreland Mall

| Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

Two clerks at separate stores in Westmoreland Mall were injured on Thursday night as a result of strong-arm robberies.

State police at Greensburg said in both instances — which occurred nearly two hours apart — a black man punched a clerk and fled with money from an open cash register drawer.

Trooper Steve Limani said he didn't know if the incidents were related, but that “it was a similar type of motive in how they committed the crime.”

The first robbery occurred at 7:30 p.m. at Famous Footwear, on the second floor of the mall near Sears.

Police said a black man came up to the counter to purchase shoelaces. When the clerk opened the cash register, he struck the clerk and fled with cash, Limani said.

At 9:30 p.m., a white woman was buying a sign at Barbara Ann's Country Home Furnishings, on the lower level of the mall near J.C. Penney. As the clerk was waiting for the woman to find change, a black man struck the cashier from behind. The pair fled with the cash.

The sales associate at Barbara Ann's said she never heard the man come behind the counter.

“He grabbed my T-shirt and slammed my face with his fist,” she said. “It happened so fast. It was a jerk, a slam, and I hit the ground.”

The sales associate asked that she not be named. She returned to work on Friday with a swollen cheek and nose.

The pair took about $900 from the store — including $200 of the clerk's personal money she had stuck in the cash register for safekeeping.

She said she would likely go to the hospital on Friday night to get checked out.

Employees at Barbara Ann's made changes to make the store more secure, including barricading one entry to the U-shaped sales counter.

A woman was not involved in the Famous Footwear robbery. The pair did not have or threaten to have a weapon.

“They're using force,” Limani said. “We would like people to stay vigilant.”

A representative from Famous Footwear said store personnel are not permitted to comment on investigations.

A call to St. Louis-based Brand Shoes, Famous Footwear's parent company, was not returned Friday afternoon.

Limani asked anyone with information to call state police at 724-832-3288.

Jewels Phraner and Renatta Signorini are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Phraner can be reached at 724-850-1218 or jphraner@tribweb.com. Signorini can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.