HANOVER TOWNSHIP — Police are investigating a violent armed robbery in Luzerne County Friday morning.
Authorities said two men entered Tobacco Junction on West End Road in Hanover Township around 9:30 a.m. They threatened the clerk with gun and demanded cash and cigarettes.
Police believe the robbers were regular customers of the store and knew the store’s layout.
“They told me to get behind the counter, don’t move and the one guy flew behind the counter, had the gun, went and told me to fill the bag with cigarettes.”
It was a violent start to the day for the manager at Tobacco Junction on West End Road in Hanover Township.
This is where police say a violent armed robbery happened just after the store opened around 9:30 a.m. Friday.
The manager did not want to be identified but told Newswatch 16, “one of my customers came in, and they put him to the ground.”
That customer was Don Jayne. He says he walked into the situation and tried to stop the men.
“The guy behind the counter pulled a gun on me and I thought I better stop fighting real quick before I get shot, so I left that guy go, and he took me back to the back, and then he hit me over the head with his gun because he was mad because I was fighting with him,” Jayne recalled.
With Jayne on the floor at gunpoint and the manager filling up a bag full of cigarettes, the robbers took off down Phillips Street with thousands of dollars’ worth of cigarettes, cigars, and cash.
Hanover Township police are now reviewing surveillance video.
The customer who was pistol-whipped wasn’t hurt and joked afterward saying he’ll probably be in the store shopping next week.
“It was tense, but what are you going to do? Just behave so you don’t get shot. That’s all.”
The store manager says she doesn’t know if she’ll recover. She says what happened was her biggest fear.
“The gun scared me especially because I have kids. I told him. He goes ‘don’t worry; I’m not going to shoot you.’ I said ‘please don’t shoot me. I have kids. Please don’t.’ He said ‘I’m not going to shoot you. Just fill the bag.'”
Police release a photo from a security camera.