Lancaster Police: Armed robbery suspect pepper sprayed employee, brandished handgun

LANCASTER -- Police in Lancaster are looking for help from the public in identifying the suspect in an armed robbery that occurred Monday morning at a laundromat on North Broad Street.

According to police the suspect entered Broad Street Laundry at about 8:35 a.m., sprayed an employee with pepper spray, and brandished a handgun. After the employee fled, the suspect emptied the contents of a cash register and exited the business, walking north on North Broad Street toward East Walnut Street, police say.

The suspect was dressed in dark clothing with a hood over his head. His face was partially covered, and he was wearing gloves, according to police.

“This person came in with a plan, this wasn’t something that was spontaneous,” said LT. William Hickey with Lancaster City Police.

He also said there were three other people inside the laundromat at the time the incident happened.

“As soon as they recognized there was something bad happening, they were all able to go out of the door and exit the premise," said LT. Hickey.

Investigators say the employee that was attacked suffered only temporary injuries and is OK.

The most distinct clue police say they have is the suspect's two-tone sneakers.

With little to go on, police say they released the surveillance footage because they need help from the public.

“Those people who might say, hey I recognize something about the way that person carries themselves or I know someone in the area that has those same kinds of shoes. That little information can sometimes be crucial,” said LT. Hickey.

FOX43 spoke with several neighbors of the business, who describe the area as relatively calm other than minor incidents in the past.

Word of an armed robbery came as a surprise to most, including Haydee Baretto.

“If they did it to them, they can did it to me or my neighbor or something, you know? That’s why they scare me,” said Baretto.

LT. Hickey said the concern for investigators, now, is this might not be a "one-and-done" incident.

He said when it comes to commercial business robberies, incidents, generally, continue until a suspect is caught.

Anyone with information on the suspect or the incident is asked to contact Lancaster Bureau of Police Det. Matt Odenthal at (717) 735-3352 or at odentham@lancasterpolice.com.

Surveillance footage of the incident appears below:

 

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