For the second time in less than three weeks, an armed robber walked into the Fegley's Mini Mart in Tamaqua Sunday around 1:15 a.m., showed his gun to the clerk and walked off with an unknown amount of money.
This time he also robbed the attached Dunkin' Donuts.
According to surveillance video, the gunman entered the store casually, approached the Fegley's clerk and demanded money and a pack cigarettes. He then walked over to the Dunkin' Donuts register, where he also demanded money.
Complying, the clerk didn't say anything and went to get a key to open the register. That is when the robber, appearing upset, walked behind the Dunkin' Donuts counter, stood directly next to the clerk, pointed a gun at her and said, "Niggers is about to get shot."
After stealing the money, the gunman then slowly walked out the sliding front door, and passed the adjacent Sunoco gas station on Center Street.
There were two customers in the store at the time of the robbery. Both clerks said Tamaqua, as well as several other police departments, were on scene in minutes.
The clerk described the robber as a light-skinned black man wearing a dark green North Face jacket, white checkered bandanna, tan work boots, black pants and hoodie. Police gave additional information, describing him as being about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds.
Police are not saying whether or not they believe the man responsible for Sunday's robbery is the same man who pulled off other recent heists in our area.
The latest robbery has raised the total number of armed store robberies in the past three weeks in Schuylkill and Carbon county to eight. The first local armed robbery occurred on Friday, Jan. 20, at the Fegley's Mini Mart in Tamaqua and involved a tall white or black (thin to average build) male wearing a black North Face jacket, white bandanna and blue jeans. The second robbery happened in the morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 26, at the Turkey Hill Minit Mart in Nesquehoning, and also involved a dark skinned white or light skinned black male (average build), wearing a black jacket, mask and blue jeans.
That same day, the Fegley's Mini Mart in McAdoo was also the target of an armed robbery involving an above average build, dark skinned male, wearing a black jacket, red mask and blue jeans. Then, on Tuesday Jan. 31, Redner's Warehouse Market in Nesquehoning was robbed at knife point by an above-average build white male wearing a white cap and blue/gray/white plaid long sleeve shirt.
Police pointed out that despite surveillance video at most locations, it can sometimes be hard to accurately determine the individual's skin or hair color. Police are relying more on the witnesses, rather than the video footage, to identify unseen features.
Compared to photos and videos of other robberies, last Tuesday's Nesquehoning robber didn't match any of the other descriptions from recent robberies. Police also noted that the Redner's robbery was the first business robbed that wasn't a convenience store.
Prior to this, the latest robberies occurred last Friday morning when a man wearing a red mask and black North Face jacket held up the Hometown Turkey Hill and Frackville Exxon Uni-Mart. Those robberies don't include more than half a dozen convenience store robberies that have been committed in the Hazleton area over the past two months. Some of those convenience stores were also robbed twice.
Sunday, a gas station in Sugarloaf Township, Luzerne County, was held up around 12:15 p.m. by a dark blonde female, claiming to have a gun, wearing a white hoodie with blue stripes. Just like in all the robberies, an all-points bulletin was broadcast to surrounding police departments to be on the lookout for this person.
It is not known if the four individuals involved in Sunday night's police chase through parts of two counties were related to the robberies.
There were no reports of physical injuries in any of the armed robberies.
In response to the armed robberies, some local convenience stores have opted to add a security guard, close earlier and post signs asking customers to remove their hoods, as did the Fegley's Mini Mart in South Tamaqua. Anyone with any information relating to any of these robberies is asked to call 911. Any information can be submitted confidentially.