NEW CASTLE —
A suspect in the robbery of a Little Beaver Township convenience store was arraigned Thursday morning.
State police charged Daniel Matthew Keller, 22, of Reed Road, New Castle, in connection with the Oct. 19 hold-up.
He also is facing charges in connection with two other store robberies — in North Beaver Township and East Palestine, Ohio.
Keller told police the gun he used in the holdups was a toy and he threw it into a pond near Mohawk High School.
The investigation was conducted jointly by the state and North Beaver Township police.
Police allege Keller, wearing a white mask, robbed two clerks at D&J Grocery on Route 551 at gunpoint around 2:50 p.m.
The clerks told police Keller went behind the counter, pointed the gun at them and demanded money from the cash register and the lottery machine. They said he stole about $200.
Police said the incident was recorded on the store’s video surveillance system.
North Beaver officers had arrested Keller Oct. 25 for allegedly robbing the K&D Convenience Store on Route 317 near Bessemer, and he admitted to the grocery store robbery.
He said a friend had dropped him off at the D&J store, and after the robbery he ran back to a friend’s house in Ohio, according to troopers.
He said he bought roxycodone and synthetic marijuana with the money.
State troopers also had interviewed him concerning an armed robbery at a convenience store in East Palestine, Ohio, on Oct. 20 and he confessed to that hold-up as well, they said.
In connection with the D&J Grocery holdup, Keller is charged with robbery, carrying a firearm without a license, recklessly endangering another person, theft and receiving stolen property.
District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright set his bond at $50,000.
His preliminary hearing for the D&L store robbery is set for Thursday.
His bond for the North Beaver store robbery also is $50,000. He waived his preliminary hearing.
East Palestine Police Chief Kevin Dickey said Thursday Keller is accused in the robbery of the Hilltop Market in East Palestine, where he allegedly used a gun and stole money from the clerks.
He said that case will be presented to a Columbiana County grand jury later this month.