Two more robberies reported in county, bringing spree to 15
Feb 13, 2013 (Lebanon Daily News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Police are investigating two more robberies in a string of such crimes that have plagued Lebanon County over the past month.
The robberies occurred at American Home Video in South Lebanon Township on Friday night and at China Moon in the Cleona Square shopping center on Tuesday night.
According to South Lebanon police, a man entered American Home Video, 600 E. Cumberland St., about 6:24 p.m. Friday, displayed a black handgun and demanded money. He fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash and was last seen traveling west on foot, police said.
The suspect is described as standing 5-feet, 7-inches tall. He was wearing a black hat, a shiny half facemask and a black parka.
Township police did not report the robbery to media until the Daily News inquired about it Wednesday. There was no explanation of the delay.
Then on Tuesday, a man entered China Moon in the Cleona Square shopping center, 457 W. Penn Ave. (Route 422), about 9:07 p.m., displayed a handgun and demanded money, according to Cleona police.
The man then fled the business with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic male standing about 6 feet tall with a thin build. He was wearing a tan ski mask, a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and possibly black boots.
The two newly reported robberies bring to 15 the number of holdups that have been reported since Jan. 13. Seven of the robberies occurred in Lebanon, three were in Myerstown,
and the other five are spread among five other municipalities.
Eleven of the robberies occurred at businesses located on or just off Route 422.
Sgt. Mark Tice, commander of the State Police station in Lickdale, said the number of robberies recently is "most definitely" above normal.
"We can't say that they're linked yet," Tice said Wednesday. "We're all working together to see if it's one individual, or if it's more than one. But nothing concrete has come out of that yet."
Tice said it's too early to tell if there is a specific reason behind the uptick, such as drugs.
"There's always a nexus behind that, but until we apprehend somebody, we cant say that's necessarily what's going on," he said.
Benis Miguel Duverge-Casanova of Lebanon has been charged with three of the robberies in Lebanon. He is also a person of interest in at least two of the other robberies that took place in the city, police said.
Duverge-Casanova was arrested in Bronx, New York, in late January and is awaiting extradition to Lebanon County.
On Wednesday, city police charged Shannon Degeorge, no known address, with Monday's robbery of Metro Bank. He was already in Berks County prison on charges of robbing a bank there.
No charges have been filed in any of the other robberies.
Here's a recap of the robberies that have been reported in the past month:
-- Feb. 12: China Moon, 457 W. Penn Ave., Cleona
-- Feb. 11: Francisco's Pizza 2, 139 E. Main St., Fredericksburg
-- Feb. 11: Super Panda Buffet, 133 W. Lincoln Ave., Myerstown
-- Feb. 11: Metro Bank, 115 Bowmam St., Lebanon
-- Feb. 8: American Home Video, 600 E. Cumberland St., South Lebanon Township. Township police reported this incident to media on Wednesday.
-- Feb. 7: Myerstown Beverage, 19 W. Washington Ave., Myerstown
-- Feb. 6: Hess Express, 2190 W. Cumberland St., North Cornwall Township
-- Feb. 5: Tony Roma's Pizza, 52 W. Main Ave., Myerstown. Borough police have not yet reported this incident to media.
-- Feb. 1: Giant, 835 Bowman St., Lebanon
-- Jan. 24: Wal-Mart, 1355 E. Lehman St., North Lebanon Township
-- Jan. 16: Wells Fargo Bank, 801 Cumberland St., Lebanon
-- Jan. 16: Turkey Hill, 716 E. Lehman St., Lebanon
-- Jan. 15: Domino's Pizza, 1303 Cumberland St., Lebanon
-- Jan. 14: Family Dollar, 306 Cumberland St., Lebanon
-- Jan. 13: Issam's Mobil, 1201 Cumberland St., Lebanon
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