Three Locked Up in Lackawanna County as Police Investigate Possible Robbery Spree

LACKAWANNA COUNTY -- Three people remain locked up at the Lackawanna County Prison accused of going on a robbery spree over a course of two days in two counties.

Now we're getting a look at how the bandits operated.

Surveillance video taken from inside a Valero in Jenkins Township near Pittston around 8:30 p.m. Monday shows a man who police identify as robbery suspect Russell Meyer.

In the video, you can see the man walk up to the counter to make a purchase. Once the register is open, that's when he dives in, grabs cash from the drawer, then runs for the door.

Rinav Patel was the cashier working that night.

“He took the Tastykake and put it on my counter, and he gave me the $2, and I opened the drawer. He jumped the register and took the money,” said Patel.

Meyer was arrested the next day after Taylor police say he and two others robbed Gulf gas station around 11 am.

His reported accomplices, Michelle Shotwell and Howard Phillips later surrendered to Kingston police, with Shotwell telling police she drove the getaway car.

Police believe the three are also responsible for robbing at least two other places in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties. Police say Meyer was caught on camera at the Carriage Stop Plaza in Plains Township around 4 a.m. Tuesday. Fairview Township police say Meyer held up a Curry Donuts in Mountain Top around 5:30 p.m. Monday.

“He gave me a five dollar bill. He tells me go back,” said Ashu Patel, who was working at Curry Donuts that night.

Wilkes-Barre City posted on its Facebook page describing a similar and recent robbery at a Turkey Hill. Police believe the three could also be involved in that.

So far, the three are only charged with Tuesday's robbery in Taylor. Police say charges are pending for the robberies in Luzerne County.

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