Hummelstown man waives hearing in 7 store robberies - abc27 WHTM

Hummelstown man waives hearing in 7 store robberies

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Gage Washington Gage Washington
Erin Johnson Erin Johnson

A Hummelstown man has waived his preliminary hearing on charges stemming from seven business robberies in Dauphin, Lancaster and Lebanon counties, including hold-ups where a hammer was used to commit the crimes.

Gage Washington, 20, appeared for the hearing Wednesday before District Judge Dominic Pelino, who scheduled a formal arraignment in Dauphin County Court for April 3.

A preliminary hearing for Washington's co-defendant, 20-year-old Erin Renee Johnson, of Palmyra, was continued to April 17.

Washington and Johnson each face 29 charges, including seven felony counts of robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery, and seven misdemeanor counts of simple assault and possessing an instrument of crime, for the robberies in late February and early March.

Authorities accuse Washington of robbing three businesses in Derry Township; including the GNC store in the Hershey Square Shopping Centre in Hummelstown on March 4, the Vitamin World store at 147 Outlet Square in Hershey on March 1, and the Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio in the Briarcrest Square Shopping Village in Hershey on February 28.

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

Washington is also accused of robberies at the Hess Express in Campbelltown on February 23 and the Weis Market in Palmyra on February 25, an attempted robbery at the Holiday Inn Express in Elizabethtown on March 4, and an attempted robbery at the Merle Norman Cosmetics Studio at 6065 Allentown Boulevard in Harrisburg on March 5.

Johnson is accused of driving the getaway car. Police have said both admitted to the robberies and attributed their crimes to drug addiction.

Both remain jailed at the Dauphin County Prison on $99,000 cash bail.

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