Centre County Crime Stoppers
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Bellefonte, PA 16823
Phone: 877-99-CRIME
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Date Posted:8/4/07
Crime Date:8/3/07
Crime Time:1:45 p.m.
Crime Type:Robbery
Crime Location:McAlevys Fort
Victim Name:Kish Bank
Victim Auth:No
Crime Details:McALEVYS FORT, Huntingdon County -- This could have been No. 9. An armed man dressed in black tried Friday afternoon to walk into a Kish Bank branch office, state police at Huntingdon said. They called it an attempted robbery. The incident bore similarities to witnesses' descriptions of eight central Pennsylvania robberies since July 22, police said. The first was reported at a Choice convenience store in Patton Township, Centre County. Kish Bank's office, at 5473 McAlevys Fort Road, was last robbed in 2004. Its staff keeps the exterior doors locked. And so when the armed man ran up on foot about 1:45 p.m. Friday, police said, he couldn't get in. He fled on foot south along the road, state police Sgt. Phillip Harchack said. That road is also state Route 26. The bank closed for the rest of the day but will reopen Monday, said bank Vice President Cheryl Shope. "Thank goodness none of the staff was hurt," Shope said. She said the workers "followed security procedures to the T." Two workers were inside at the time, according to a police report. Harchack said the armed man approached the bank from the south. A security camera captured images, police said. A police description identified him as a white man with a thin build, perhaps in his 20s. He stands 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall and was wearing a black T-shirt, black pants and a black bandanna, police said. A black handkerchief covered his face, according to the police description. Harchack said police were checking on reports of several vehicles in the area about the time of the incident. The man was carrying a handgun that appeared to be a black, semiautomatic model, Harchack said. "This appears very similar in nature" to earlier incidents in Blair, Centre, Clinton and Huntingdon counties, he said. If the same disguised man has been involved in all the incidents, Friday may mark only the second time he has left a scene in costume without having pulled off a heist. Friday also appears to be the first time a bank has been a target. Earlier victims have been pizza shops and convenience stores. No one has been injured. Harchack said anyone who witnessed anything suspicious or unusual Friday near the Kish Bank office should call the Huntingdon state police barracks. Even if it was only a car parked along a road or in a field, Harchack said, police want to know about it. Trooper Dan Sneath, the primary investigator in the McAlevys Fort incident, can be reached at 627-3161. "The sooner the man is identified, the sooner we can put a stop to it," Harchack said. He said banks, convenience stores and the public in general should continue to be on alert. People should call in anything that's unusual, including license-plate numbers of vehicles that appear suspicious, he said. Also Friday, Centre County Crimestoppers and Crimestoppers of Blair County announced the formation of a robbery task force. It's offering rewards of as much as $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest in the robberies. The task force, including local and state police and detectives, reported that the robber also may have acne and may be left-handed. A surveillance photo is available at www.twp.ferguson.pa.pa. Centre County Crimestoppers can be reached at 877-992-7436; in Blair County, Crimestoppers can be reached at 800-422-8802
Agency:Pennsylvania State Police/Rockview
745 S. Eagle Valley Rd.
phone: 814-355-7545
fax: 814-355-6019
Posted Online:8/4/07

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