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Armed man robs Fort Loudon bank

September 14, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

FORT LOUDON, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police were inspecting the burned remains of a sport utility vehicle Tuesday to determine if it was used in an armed robbery of the First National Bank of Mercersburg earlier in the day.

The bank at 92 Path Valley Road was held up by a masked gunman at about 10:30 a.m., police said. A short time later, troopers responded to a report of a burning vehicle about three miles south of the bank on Mountain Road in Peters Township.

The vehicle had been driven off the road a short distance into what appeared to be a farm equipment access road into a soybean field. It was heavily damaged by the fire, which also scorched the grass and brush between the SUV and the field.

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Trooper Stanford Sydnor, a state police fire marshal, said the vehicle appeared to be a Nissan Pathfinder. Police were trying to determine if it was the one reported stolen in Mercersburg, Pa., about two weeks ago, he said.

Two bank tellers, but no customers, were in the branch when a man carrying a plastic bag entered and demanded cash at gunpoint, police said. No shots were fired and no one was injured in the holdup, Cpl. Bernie Stanalonis said.

Police said the man made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

The man fled south on Pa. 75 in what was described over police radios as a green sport utility vehicle. Police also were checking two slightly different license plate numbers witnesses reported seeing on the vehicle.

State police later confirmed the stolen vehicle and the burned getaway vehicle were the same.

Police said a green 1997 Pathfinder was reported stolen from Mike's Auto Sales & Service at 19 Loudon Road on Aug. 29, but it might have been taken from the sale lot as early as Aug. 25.

Stanalonis gave a description of the robber as white and approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall with a medium build. The man was wearing a black New York Yankees baseball cap, a black scarf or other covering over his face, a black jacket, navy blue sweat pants and sneakers.

Police did not say what kind of handgun the man was carrying.

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