BP robber sought by South Strabane police

  • By Kathie Warco October 23, 2013
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This photo provided by South Strabane Township police shows the suspect in a robbery attempt Wednesday night at the BP gas station on Murtland Avenue.
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This photo provided by South Strabane Township police shows a clerk, left, tangling with a would-be robber who came into the BP gas station on Murtland Avenue wielding a knife Wednesday night.
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Karen Mansfield / Observer-Reporter
Police officers investigate a robbery Wednesday night at the BP station on Murtland Avenue in South Strabane Township. Order a Print

South Strabane Township police have released photos taken from surveillance cameras of the man who stabbed a clerk in the hand during a robbery attempt at a Murtland Avenue gasoline station Wednesday night.

The robber had red coloring on his face in an attempt to disguise his identity, an aspect that township police Detective Michael Schidlmeier called unusual. The gloves worn by the robber also were covered with the same red coloring. Schidlmeier is not sure if it some sort of dye or a chalky substance.

“I’ve never seen this used in a disguise,” he said.

Police were called to the BP, Murtland and North avenues, about 9:21 p.m. for a report of a robbery in progress. When they arrived, the suspect was gone. The 43-year-old clerk was stabbed in the hand during a struggle with the knife-wielding robber.

The clerk told police he was in the back of the store when the robber entered.

“The only thing he noticed when the man entered was that his hood was pulled up,” Schidlmeier said. “But at first, he didn’t think anything of it because it was cold outside.”

The robber then pointed a knife at the clerk and told him “I’m here for the money.” The clerk and robber struggled for several minutes. The employee was able to wrestle the suspect out of the building. The robber, who was not able to steal anything, then ran toward the rear of the store.

There were no customers in the store at the time of the robbery nor was there anyone outside filling up at the pumps.

The clerk was taken to Washington Hospital for treatment. Schidlmeier was not sure of the extent of the clerk’s injuries.

The robber is white, between 5 feet, 10 inches and 6 feet tall with a medium build. He wore a greenish, hooded jacket with pockets on the left arm. The hood was pulled tightly around his face. He wore dark pants and black and white shoes.

Anyone with information or who might have seen the suspect in the area of the station is asked to call Schidlmeier at 724-225-8111.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.


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