2 arrested for store robberies - abc27 WHTM

2 arrested for store robberies

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Gage Washington (left) and Erin Johnson Gage Washington (left) and Erin Johnson

Police have arrested two people for several recent robberies in three counties.

Twenty-year-olds Gage Washington, of Hummelstown, and Erin Renee Johnson, of Palmyra, were each charged by Derry Township police with four counts of robbery, conspiracy, simple assault, and possession of an instrument of crime.

The charges stem from robberies at the GNC store in the Hershey Square Shopping Centre in Hummelstown on Monday, at the Vitamin World store at 147 Outlet Square in Hershey on Friday, and at the Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in the Briarcrest Square Shopping Village in Hershey on Thursday.

Police believe Washington and Johnson are also responsible for robberies at the Hess Express in Campbelltown on February 23 and the Weis Market in Palmyra on February 25, as well as an attempted robbery at the Holiday Inn Express in Elizabethtown on Monday.

Their arrests came Tuesday evening after an attempted robbery at the Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio at 6065 Allentown Boulevard in Harrisburg. Police said a witness was able to get a license plate number and a description of the suspect that matched those given in the previous robberies.

Washington and Johnson were taken into custody a short time later during a traffic stop in Derry Township, police said.

Washington is accused of committing the robberies and Johnson allegedly drove the getaway car, according to police. Authorities said the two were cooperative with investigators and attributed the crimes to drug addiction.

In at least two of the incidents, at the GNC and at Merle Norman, police said the robber pointed a hammer at the clerks. At all three locations in Derry Township, the clerks were ordered to lie on the floor behind the counter before the robber fled with cash from the register.

During the incident at the Weis store in Palmyra, police said the man claimed to have a gun in a note demanding cash, but the clerk did not see a weapon.

Northwest Regional police, who investigated the Elizabethtown incident, said the would-be robber held a handwritten note demanding money in front of the front desk clerk, but left empty handed when he was told there was no cash at the hotel. He did not display a weapon, police said.

Washington was sent to Dauphin County Prison on $250,000 cash bail, while Johnson was being held on $100,000 bail. Preliminary hearings were scheduled for March 15.

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