Pair jailed in Hempfield drugstore robbery
Two men who allegedly made off with cash and more than $15,000 worth of prescription pills in the armed robbery of a Hempfield pharmacy were arrested on Thursday.
Police said Edward Joseph Swidowski, 30, of Greensburg and Christopher Allen Jaffre, 34, of Hempfield concocted the “perfect plan” to rob a CVS Pharmacy on Donohoe Road on Tuesday evening.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, the pair were wearing ski masks and latex gloves when they entered the pharmacy armed with a gun.
Two female employees told state police the “taller suspect” pointed the gun at them and said “he didn't want to shoot them and to just give him the money,” Trooper John Zalich wrote in the affidavit.
The “shorter suspect” demanded Oxycontin, a pain reliever, from the male pharmacist.
“There was more movement behind the pharmacy, and the shorter suspect also obtained (bottles) of Xanax and then went back to the safe and grabbed other various narcotics,” Zalich wrote.
According to criminal complaints, Jaffre is 6 feet, 3 inches tall, and Swidowski is 5 feet, 8 inches tall.
Jaffre encountered a customer in the store and ordered him at gunpoint to lie down, police said. The pair fled after getting $400 in cash and $15,801 worth of prescription pills that they later split, police said.
Investigators got a break in the case early on Thursday when a confidential informant tipped them off about Swidowski's alleged involvement.
Police located him in a parked car in Fort Allen, where they found several prescription pill bottles similar to those stolen from CVS, according to the affidavit. A 30-year-old woman in the car was carrying 26 Xanax pills, police said. She has not been charged.
Swidowski admitted to the robbery and implicated Jaffre, according to the affidavit.
Both men are being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on charges of robbery, theft and receiving stolen property. Jaffre's bail is $100,000, and Swidowski's is $75,000.
Preliminary hearings before District Judge James Falcon are scheduled for Tuesday. Neither man had an attorney listed in online court records.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Project to tear down former Jeannette District Memorial Hospital on schedule, Excela says
- Norwin band director is finding lots of success in return to his alma mater
- Jeannette company’s miniature steam engines coveted for decades
- Westmoreland County furloughs weights and measurements director
- Hempfield leaders kill zoning request for townhomes
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Demolition project at Oliver’s Pourhouse in Greensburg moves ahead
- Police: Deer rifle in vehicle at Southmoreland High School
- Judge dismisses Latrobe man’s appeal in ’08 strangulation
- Fire at Westmoreland prison extinguished
- Ligonier man’s sentences for slayings upheld