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Two men are arrested following robbery of Lansford Turkey Hill

Published August 29. 2013 05:00PM

Two men who allegedly held up a Lansford convenience store clerk at knifepoint early Wednesday morning are jailed, each under $150,000 straight cash bail.

John A. Simonson, 19, of 220 W. Front St., Lansford, and Scott Heffelfinger, 26, whose last known address was in Lehighton, are each charged by Lansford Officer Joshua Tom with robbery, criminal conspiracy, and theft by unlawful taking.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Tom with District Judge Casimir Kosciolek, Tom was on duty when he received a call at 2:52 a.m. about an armed robbery at the Turkey Hill Minit Mart.

The suspects were two white males, wearing hoods. However, the clerk, Robert Clifford III, knew the men and identified them for police.

Clifford told police the men entered the store and started telling him how badly they needed money. Heffelfinger asked Clifford about a bank bag of money that was sitting in plain view. Heffelfinger asked how much was in the bag.

Clifford, not realizing what was to come, told him the bag contained about $150 in cash.

Heffelfinger then pulled a knife, and told Clifford that "this was personal, that they just need the money." Heffelfinger threatened to stab Clifford if he didn't give them the money, the affidavit says.

Clifford, in fear for his life, complied.

Simonson also grabbed several packs of Marlboro menthol cigarettes as he and Heffelfinger fled the store, say police.

Police quickly chased the two down. Further investigation revealed the two had agreed to rob the store.

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