Police: Pizza Hut employee tried to rob store

August 2, 2013
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Emily Petsko / Observer-Reporter
A South Strabane Township police vehicle sits Friday outside the Pizza Hut on Murtland Avenue, which was the target of an apparent robbery attempt. Order a Print
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Mijerean Michael Witcher

A Pizza Hut employee showed up early Friday, allegedly to rob the restaurant on Murtland Avenue in South Strabane Township, but any thoughts of extra dough were dashed when he and a juvenile accomplice were arrested after running away, according to township police.

Mijerean Michael Witcher, 19, of 813 Canterbury Court, Washington, is charged with robbery, attempted robbery, criminal conspiracy and corruption of a minor. Witcher was arraigned by District Judge Jay Weller. He is in Washington County jail on $50,000 bond.

Pizza Hut general manager Joyce Crouse called police about 8:55 a.m. when she saw a man, whose face was concealed by clothing, peering through the rear employee door, according to the criminal complaint. Crouse told police the man walked around the building, which was closed and locked, after she saw him.

Witcher and a second person ran. Police verified that no one had entered the building and began to search the area for suspects. South Strabane police Chief Don Zofchak, who was at the scene, said that while no robbery had been committed, it was clear that the two suspects “were up to no good.”

Zofchak said the suspects ran toward Erie Street before they were caught by officers and found carrying a pellet gun, a change of clothes and garments to cover their faces. The suspects allegedly changed clothes after fleeing and abandoned them in separate backpacks in a yard on Linn Avenue. Police later determined Witcher was employed by the restaurant.

Witcher confessed to police that he and the juvenile planned the robbery the day before, according to an affidavit. Police did not identify the juvenile or indicate if he was charged.

Emily Petsko joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in June 2013. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor's degree in journalism and global cultural studies.

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