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State police seek suspect in Hempfield robbery attempt

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 6:03 p.m.

State police are seeking information about a man they believe planned to hold up a Shop ‘n Save supermarket in Hempfield Saturday morning but fled with no money after he was confronted by a store manager.

Trooper Stephen Limani said the manager approached the suspect, who was wearing a black ski mask, sunglasses and black gloves, after he entered the Route 136 store. The suspect pepper-sprayed the manager before fleeing in the black, late-1990s model Chevrolet Lumina that was parked next to the store.

The manager, who asked that his name not be used, said he has “second-guessed” himself since Saturday, “but I don't regret what I did.”

Limani believes the manager saved other store employees and customers from potential harm.

“I had a feeling that he was up to no good and I just reacted. When I walked up to him, he cursed me a couple times and then sprayed me,” the manager said. “There was another man with him in the passenger seat. ... They were all hunched over as they drove away.

“I do hope that anyone with information on this calls state police,” he said.

The manager did not require medical treatment.

The suspect was about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, weighed about 165 pounds and wore a black hoodie, a white and gold checkered flannel shirt and tan pants, Limani said.

Anyone with information is asked to telephone police at (724) 832-3288.

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