Man arraigned in Richeyville convenience store hold-up

January 24, 2014
Charles Shayne Swoger

A Centerville man, already in Washington County jail awaiting trial on charges of theft and receiving stolen property, was arraigned Wednesday on charges he robbed a Richeyville convenience store in October.

Charles Shayne Swoger, 24, of 93 South St., is accused of wielding a tire iron when he robbed the Giant Eagle GetGo, 3143 W. National Pike.

Centerville police were called Oct. 7 to the convenience store for an armed robbery. The clerk told police a man in his 20s wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt, red shorts and white mask entered the store just before 11 p.m. and wanted to buy cigarettes.

As the clerk walked around the counter to the cash register, the robber pointed a tire iron at her and demanded money. She gave the robber cash, and he ran out the front door. After checking store surveillance, police determined there was a gold or silver minivan parked behind the store.

The following day, a witness told police that Swoger was bragging at a party the night of the robbery that he was going to make money by robbing a store in Bentleyville. The witness also told police that Swoger was wearing a black, hooded shirt and red shorts.

The witness told police he recognized Swoger on the surveillance tape shown in news coverage of the robbery. Police said they also were told Swoger was driving a stolen gold minivan.

Police found the van parked in a wooded area in Denbo and said they could see red shorts and a black shirt inside the vehicle.

Swoger was taken into custody on outstanding bench warrants during an Oct. 13 traffic stop. He also was charged in November by East Bethlehem police with theft and receiving stolen property stemming from a burglary of a home in Clarksville in September. He waived those charges to court. Two other men were also charged in that case.

Swoger, who already is in jail on $25,000 bond for the East Bethlehem charges, was arraigned before District Judge Joshua Kanalis on two counts of robbery and one count each of aggravated assault, simple assault, disorderly conduct and receiving stolen property in the GetGo case. Kanalis set a $25,000 unsecured bond on the new charges. A preliminary hearing will be held before Kanalis Feb. 10.

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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