The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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August 20, 2013

Teens used a faux weapon in Honey Bear holdup

— Two teenagers – one of them a runaway – robbed the Honey Bear Mini Mart at gunpoint Tuesday morning and three hours later were in police custody, Richland Township police said.

Nineteen-year-old Zachary James Wissinger of the 300 block of Beechspring Street, Richland, and 16-year-old Darnell McLaughlin of the 200 block of Melvin Street, Geistown, are expected to be charged with robbery, terroristic threats, reckless endangerment, possessing an instrument of crime and conspiracy, police Detective Kevin Gaudlip said at a news conference.

Both were expected to be arraigned late Tuesday.

Gaudlip said McLaughlin entered the store at Elton and Luther roads around 8:30 a.m.

The boy produced what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun and attempted to rob the lone customer.

“The individual said he didn’t have any money on him,” Gaudlip said. “Once the clerk realized what was happening, she went into the back room and shut the door.

“As far as we can determine, the only thing that was taken from the store was four packs of cigarettes,” he said.

 Wissinger drove the getaway vehicle, a gold-colored Ford Escape, Gaudlip said.

Police canvased the neighborhood and found both suspects at an area home. It was later determined the handgun was a pellet gun.

“You would believe in fact this was a real gun,” Gaudlip said. “It even says Smith & Wesson on the side of it.”

Police recovered a second pellet gun from the vehicle. Both guns are owned by Wissinger.

Police believe the owner of the vehicle was not involved in the crime.

No injuries were reported.

The 16-year-old is being charged as an adult, Gaudlip said. McLaughlin had been involved in a domestic dispute in Geistown the night before and fled. He was considered a runaway.

Police used surveillance video to help track the robbers, Gaudlip said.

Police from Geistown Borough and Stonycreek and Paint townships aided in the investigation, Gaudlip said.

The Honey Bear last was robbed in April 2010.

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