State College police searching for suspect in Super 8 Motel robbery
Feb 06, 2013 (Centre Daily Times (State College - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
State College police are searching for a man wanted in connection with a robbery and two burglaries Tuesday morning on South Atherton Street.
Police said the man stole money from the Super 8 Motel at about 6:20 a.m. and told an employee who confronted him that he had a gun.
The man also is wanted in connection with burglaries at Gunn Mowery Insurance and Benchmark Construction in an office building on South Atherton Street. The businesses were broken into earlier Tuesday morning.
The break-ins are the latest in a series of thefts during the past month within a few blocks of each other, according to police. In January, someone broke into the Autoport restaurant and motel and five offices in the Southwood Office complex next to the Ramada Inn, all on South Atherton Street.
Despite the proximity of the thefts, police could not confirm Tuesday if they are related.
The robbery Tuesday morning marked the first time during the recent spate of thefts that the targeted business was open. The other incidents all occurred overnight.
Police said the suspect in the robbery approached a front desk clerk at the Super 8 Motel and said a vending machine in the building had been damaged. When the clerk went to check, the man moved behind the desk and started taking money.
The clerk returned and confronted the man, who claimed he had a gun. The suspect fled the motel running toward South Atherton Street.
Police neither indicated how much money was taken in the robbery, nor did they provide specifics about items they said were removed during the break-ins at Gunn Mowery Insurance and Benchmark Construction.
The suspect in those incidents is described as a white male wearing black boots, jeans, a gray jacket, a black hooded sweatshirt pulled up over his head and a light-color faded baseball hat. He was last seen in the area of the Ramada south parking lot.
In the January break-ins, police said they were looking for a suspect described as a white male, approximately 5 feet 8 inches, to 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin to medium build.
Anyone with information about the crimes or anyone who can identify a suspect is asked to call the State College Police at 814-234-7150. Anonymous tips can be submitted on the State College police website.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter.
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