Fegley's robbery a frightening experience for store workers
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS John Wilner, who witnessed the incident, recalls the importance of staying calm. Wilner works in the loss prevention field.
"He had a dead stare when he looked at me," said Elizabeth Smith, a Dunkin Donuts employee, in describing a frightening experience she witnessed during an armed robbery at the Fegley's Mini Mart Friday night in Tamaqua.
At approximately 10:20 p.m., an African American or dark-skinned male, entered the store on Center Street in Tamaqua and walked back and forth between the Dunkin Donuts counter and Fegley's cooler.
Witnesses said the man, wearing a black jacket and blue jeans, had a hoodie over his head and white bandana around his nose and mouth. The bandana was white with white polka dots. Some witnesses said they didn't think too much of, as it was cold and starting to snow outside.
"When he first walked in, the store was packed with people," Smith said.
After grabbing an orange drink and Amazon can drink, and placing them on the counter, the man then brandished a gun to Fegley's employee Angela Card, ordering her to "empty the register and give me the money."
When the men sensed Angela didn't believe him, he then removed a few bullets from the gun and showed them to her. At that moment, he looked up at Smith, who had delivered a coffee over to Card.
Smith then went to the back office of Dunkin Donuts, locked the office door, hid under the desk and called 911.
"I was terrified and can't believe what I saw," said Smith.
At the same time, John Wilner of Mahanoy City, who stopped at the store to get money from an ATM and to use the restroom, noticed the man leaning over the counter, pointing the gun sideways at Card. Wilner also heard the man demand the money.
Wilner calmly walked outside to his truck, where he also called 911. He said he saw the man then run across route 309 with the money and slip in the alley behind the White Diner.
"It only took less than a minute for police to arrive," Witner said.
He feels that the man probably waited for the male customers to leave the store before deciding to rob it.
"He could see me, as I was in the restroom," Wilner said.
Witness Travis Boerner walked out the store only seconds before the robbery occurred.
"I saw the man with the bandana and was going to say something," he said.
When asked how they handled the situation, both Wilner and Smith said it was important to remain calm.
Other witnesses described the male as being in his late teens or early twenties.
Currently, no one is in custody, and Tamaqua Police are still investigating. Anyone with information about the armed robbery is encouraged to call the police at (570) 668-6100 or 911.