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DNA test leads to arrest of Ephrata man in series of Turkey Hill robberies dating back to 2016, police say

EPHRATA, Lancaster County — A 23-year-old Ephrata man already serving time in Lancaster County Prison for other offenses has been charged in a series of strong-arm robberies at a Turkey Hill Store in Ephrata Township dating back to 2016, Ephrata Police say.

Dale J. Kreider allegedly admitted to committing the robberies after police matched his DNA to a sample taken from a blue knit hat found near one of the crime scenes, police say.

Kreider is accused of robbing the Turkey Hill store on the 3500 block of Rothsville Road on four separate occasions — on July 20, 2016; October 14, 2016; November 5, 2016, and March 1, 2017. The robberies all occurred in the overnight/early morning hours. Each time, the suspect would demand cash and cigarettes from the store clerk.

At the scene of the March 1 robbery, an Ephrata Police Department evidence technician followed muddy shoe prints from the store and located the hat in a grassy area nearby. A DNA sample was taken from the hat and sent to the Pennsylvania State Police Laboratory for analysis.

The test results came back on March 26, 2018 and was a match for Kreider, who allegedly admitted to committing the robberies when interviewed by police.

He was charged with three counts of Robbery and one count of Criminal Attempt at Robbery.