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Allegheny Township police collar robbery suspect

Mary Ann Thomas
| Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 3:27 p.m.

Police nabbed a robbery suspect Wednesday afternoon, three hours after he allegedly held up an Allegheny Township bank customer as he returned to his car.

Ryker Smith, 27, of Burrellton Drive in Lower Burrell was the man who pointed a handgun as the customer left the First Commonwealth Bank in Kiski Park Plaza off South Leechburg Hill Road, police said.

The weapon turned out to be a BB gun, Allegheny Township police Chief John Fontaine said.

The robbery occurred at about 11:30 a.m. Three hours later, Smith was arrested without incident in West Leechburg, Fontaine said.

The customer had just gotten into his car when an armed man approached, leaned into the victim's open car window and said, “Give me some money,” the chief reported.

Fontaine said the victim surrendered $60 from his wallet; the robber walked away and got into his car.

The robber was seen driving a burgundy Dodge sedan on Route 56 toward Lower Burrell, the chief said.

Witnesses saw the robber's license plate and reported it to police.

With the help of state police and officers from Lower Burrell and West Leechburg, Allegheny Township police tracked Smith and his alleged getaway car to his girlfriend's home in West Leechburg.

“Through the cooperative efforts by all the agencies,” Fontaine said, “we were able to bring this to a conclusion quickly.”

Smith was arraigned Wednesday afternoon before District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec and charged with robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.

He did not post bail Wednesday afternoon, which was set at $100,000, and was in the Westmoreland County jail, Fontaine said.

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or

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