New Castle police captured a man who sought to rob convenience stores Wednesday night in Mahoningtown and West Pittsburg.

Brian Anthony Miller, 29, was placed in the Lawrence County jail yesterday. District Judge Melissa A. Amodie set his bond at $100,000 during his arraignment.

Police Chief Thomas Sansone said the knife-wielding Miller attempted to rob the Country Food Mart in Mahoningtown at 6:47 p.m. It was foiled when Russ Dematteo, who was working behind the counter, produced a handgun.

Dematteo told the man to get on the ground and wait for police, but the suspect ran out of the store across Liberty Street and down an alley.

About 15 minutes later officers received a call for another robbery that had just occurred at Shee’s gas station in West Pittsburg.

Police left the scene in Mahoningtown and responded to Shee’s. While en route, Sgt. Colella advised officers to go to Route 168 and observe vehicles traveling east in an attempt to locate the man matching the description given by Dematteo.

Police pulled over the purple Cavalier. The driver was instructed by officer George to pull behind the cruiser, but he instead pulled away at a high rate of speed, nearly striking the officer.

Police pursued the vehicle until it crashed into a hillside in front of Avalon Nursing Center. Miller exited the vehicle and ran behind the nursing home into a wooded area.

Police tracked footprints in the snow for 15 minutes until the suspect was apprehended.

Miller was charged with two counts of robbery, felonies; aggravated assault, a felony; attempting to elude police, a felony theft, a misdemeanor; and receiving stolen property, a misdemeanor.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Dec. 22.

 

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