Robber Hits Bagel Shop, Supermarket in West Hazleton

UPDATE: West Hazleton police identified the suspect as Raymond Edward Bolling of Hazle Township. Police believe Bolling is behind both armed robberies at Buddies' Bagels and Weis Markets.

WEST HAZLETON -- State police are looking for the man they say tried to hold up two businesses in Luzerne County Monday morning and could be involved in more robberies.

Troopers tell us just before 6 a.m. Monday, a man passed a note to the cashier at Buddies' Bagels in West Hazleton saying he had a gun and demanding money.

Newswatch 16 was able to get surveillance video of the armed robbery at Buddies' Bagels. The video shows the robber holding what looks like a gun in his pocket and sliding a note to the cashier.

"It said, 'Don't say anything. Take all the money. Put it in a bag. I have a gun in my pocket,'" Amanda Ochner recalled.

The cashier thought the robber was joking and the man left without a dime. Workers say they felt safe knowing surveillance video was capturing the crook's every move.

"When I got here, the cops were here and they were looking at the cameras. I got them the video and stuff like that. From what they told me, they have a pretty good idea of what's going on, so I think they're going to catch him," said co-owner Lincoln Buttrick.

About a half hour after the attempted armed robbery at Buddies', the robber showed up at a Weis Markets about a half mile away. Police say this time, he got away with money.

"The workers are so courteous and nice and I feel sorry that this happened to such a nice place. Well, it shouldn't happen anywhere," said customer Rosanne Smith.

Police in Plains Township say the man robbed Family Dollar on North River Street shortly after 1 p.m. Monday.

A surveillance photo from inside the store shows the robber wearing what looks like the same ball cap as the man who tried to rob Buddies' Bagels.

At Family Dollar, police say the robber again showed a note demanding money and got away with more than $200.

Investigators believe the suspect is also behind robberies at Pilot Truck Stops last week in Pittston Township and Sugarloaf Township.

Troopers say the man showed a gun during those holdups in Luzerne County.


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