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Four charged in alleged New Kensington pistol-whip robbery

Chuck Biedka
| Thursday, April 22, 2010

Police are charging a boy, a man, and two women, all ages 17 to 20, with robbing and pistol whipping a man who was tricked into thinking he was buying CDs in an alley behind his house.

The victim, who lives in the 1300 block of Woodmont Avenue near North Street, said acquaintance Melissa Banichar, 20, of Macbeth Drive, Lower Burrell, phoned him at about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

According to a police affidavit, she told him she was in the alley behind his house and had some CDs that he would want to buy.

When he walked along North Street and headed into the alley, he saw Banichar and another young woman sitting inside a white minivan.

Police say that woman was Kylee Nold, 18, of the 300 block of Keystone Drive in New Kensington's Mt. Vernon neighborhood.

According to court papers, two other people, wearing black hooded sweatshirts and masks, had gotten out of the van and were hiding before the victim's arrival.

As the victim stepped into the alley, a masked man and woman ran up to rob him.

Police say the pair are Greg Lambert, 17, of the 400 block of Freeport Street, and Shariena Headen, 18, of the 2000 block of Leishman Avenue. Although a juvenile, Lambert has been charged as an adult because of the severity of the alleged crime.

According to an affidavit, one of the robbers yelled, "I told you I was going to 'pop' you."

Lambert allegedly pointed a semi-automatic pistol at the victim, then hit him and knocked him to the ground.

"Give me what you got," one of the robbers demanded, according to the police's account.

Police said Lambert and Headen took $10 from the victim and then got in the minivan and left.

Police said they found the four suspects at Nold's house in Mt. Vernon.

In the affidavit, Banichar said she only gave the others a ride. Nold said she didn't see a gun.

Police found a black skull cap and a black "do-rag" in the van, but they haven't found the pistol.

All four are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and theft. Lambert is charged with being a minor in possession of a pistol.

The four were arraigned in New Kensington by District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec.

She ordered each held in the Westmoreland County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bond pending a preliminary hearing tentatively set for April 29.

Additional Information:

Police seek information

New Kensington Police have made arrests in a Tuesday night armed robbery in an alley off Woodmont Avenue, but they are still looking for the pistol used.

Police continue to investigate the April 11 armed robbery at Fox's Pizza, in the 700 block of Fifth Avenue. A masked man pointed a pistol at a clerk and took money from the cash register at about 10:30 p.m. He was described only as a thin black man wearing all black and a blue headband.

Anyone with information about either robbery is asked to call police at 724-339-7533.

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