WILKES-BARRE — Authorities have made arrests in a string of robberies on Luzerne County.
According to the FBI, Jeffrey Townsley, 42, and Charles Conden, 47, were picked up Friday at a motel in Plains Township.
Agents say Townsley is charged with nine recent robberies.
Townsley is charged by criminal complaint in nine armed robberies that took place between December 24, 2013, and January 10, 2014, including:
- December 24, 2013 robbery of First National Community Bank in Kingston
- December 26, 2013 robbery of Claire’s Bar in Hanover Township
- December 26, 2013 robbery of Forever Nails in Hanover Township
- December 27, 2013 robbery of Adult World in Larksville
- January 2, 2014 robbery of First National Community Bank in Hanover Township
- January 6, 2014 robbery of Dollar General in Wilkes-Barre
- January 7, 2014 robbery of Aldi in Kingston
- January 8, 2014 robbery of Thomas’ Market in Larksville
- January 10, 2014 robbery of Family Dollar in Ashley
Conden is charged as a co-conspirator.
The images of police cruisers and crime tape have become all too familiar in the west side of the Wyoming Valley in the past few weeks like the bank robbery in Kingston on Christmas Eve and the surveillance pictures of a crook holding a gun at a clerk three days later at Adult World on Route 11 in Larksville.
“When it’s going on all around you, you’re kind of waiting for that to happen.”
Mark Colby says he and his coworkers at Thomas’ Beer Deli on Washington Avenue in Larksville feared that they would be robbed next after several businesses nearby were held up.
“You get kind of paranoid,” said Katlyn Bavits of Larksville. “It’s kind of crazy, someone coming in, know what I mean? Especially the same night, CVS down the road got robbed and it’s right down the road from my house.”
Workers say the doorbell did not go off when the robber walked into Thomas’ Beer Deli on Wednesday. Instead, workers say the crook went through a door meant only for employees and when he walked up to the cash register wearing a ski mask, workers thought it was a joke.”
“I thought it was a joke,” Colby said. “I thought it was somebody that comes in the store busting chops because of all the robberies that are going on.”
Security camera photos show the masked robber pointing a gun at Colby and a customer when he robbed Thomas’ Beer Deli of $300 last week.
The FBI now says Jeffrey Townsley and Charles Conden have been charged for nine armed robberies – two banks and seven stores – including the hold up at The Beer Deli.
“I hope it’s over because I was worried the whole time about it happening again. The same guy coming back, didn’t get enough the first time. He made a comment when I gave him the money in the register. He said ‘That’s it?’ I said ‘It’s 3 o’clock on a Wednesday, what’d you expect?’”