Police: Indiana County nursery worker foils attempted holdup
An employee disarmed a man who attempted to hold up an Indiana County nursery with an unloaded gun that the man stole from a nearby home, state police said.
Justin S. Ludwig, 37, of Warren, is charged with robbery, attempted theft and terroristic threats in the confrontation Wednesday afternoon at Pike’s Peak Nursery on Route 422 in Cherryhill Township, police said. He also is charged with burglary and theft for allegedly breaking into and stealing a .40-caliber Beretta and other items from a nearby home.
Police said Ludwig arrived at the nursery on foot, asked for a lift and then pointed the pistol at two employees, ordering then to get on the ground and to open a safe. According to police, when a male employee refused, Ludwig threatened to strike him with the gun.
The worker then tackled Ludwig, escorted him outside and disarmed him at about 5 p.m., while a female employee called 911, police said. Ludwig allegedly was involved in a physical confrontation with the male employee when police arrived and took him into custody without further incident.
Police said the gun they seized from Ludwig was registered to the resident of a home on North Harmony Road, where they discovered a broken door window. The resident came home and confirmed the residence had been burglarized, police said.
Other stolen items — a Samsung tablet, jewelry, knives, coins and a Roku device — were recovered when they were found in a pillowcase Ludwig had carried inside the nursery, according to police.
Ludwig was arraigned on the burglary and theft charges and was lodged in the Indiana County Jail after failing to post $50,000 bail. He was awaiting arraignment before Blairsville District Judge Jennifer Rega on the additional charges stemming from the incident at the nursery, police said.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .