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Robbers take bingo money in Sharpsburg

Tawnya Panizzi
| Friday, Nov. 9, 2001

SHARPSBURG: Two men made off with what has been described as a large amount of money from Sunday night's Madonna of Jerusalem church bingo.

Police are investigating two suspects, but have not made an arrest, said Chief Mike Rapino.

"They knew what time this would be happening," Rapino said. "It was a kind of well thought-out robbery."

The robbery occurred about 11 p.m., after the binngo was over and most of the people had left the John Paul Center along Ninth Street. Two volunteers were delivering the money to the rectory, as is their normal routine, when two men came out from behind the church and pointed what appeared to be a small handgun at them, Rapino said.

"They said 'Give us the money,' " Rapino said.

The woman volunteer was pushed to the ground, while the male volunteer threw the money aside. The suspects grabbed the money and ran, Rapino said.

Neither of the volunteers was injured.

"This bingo is every Sunday, and the two victims do the same thing every Sunday," Rapino said. "It was apparently somebody that knew what they did and got their routine down. It was well-planned."

The Rev. Andrew Fischer, the administrator for the Catholic Community in Sharpsburg of which Madonna is a member, asked that police not disclose the amount of money stolen. Rapino said it was a large amount.

Allegheny County Police are assisting in the investigation.

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