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Alleged robbery spree began with hit on tobacco store in Tyrone

A 33-year-old Tyrone man accused of the early Sunday morning robbery of the Bellwood Sheetz and the attempted robbery of the Warriors Mark Uni-Mart later that morning has now been accused in the robbery of the Choice Store in Tyrone late Saturday night.
Benjamin Burton Brower was arrested in Tyrone by Hollidaysburg State Police on Sunday morning for a robbery at the Sheetz store in Bellwood that happened shortly after midnight on Sunday.
Brower is also accused of allegedly attempting to rob the Uni-Mart in Warriors Mark at 7:45 a.m. on Sunday. He was apprehended later on Sunday when state police found him in Tyrone hiding in a relative’s car.
Tyrone Borough Police issued a press release yesterday, indicating that Brower’s alleged robbery spree began in Tyrone late Saturday. Police were dispatched to the Choice Store at 100 W. 10th Street shortly before midnight.
According to Tyrone Police Chief Joseph Beachem’s release, the clerk there told police a white male entered the store and stated, “Give me the money.” The clerk said she told the man “excuse me” and the man restated his demand for the money. The clerk said she thought the man may have had a weapon and gave him the money from the cash register totaling $139.54. Officers looked at the store’s surveillance video and identified Brower.
Tyrone Police also responded to a report of a stolen vehicle on Blair Avenue shortly after 12:30 a.m. on Sunday. The stolen vehicle was reported as a white 1995 Buick. Tyrone Police then learned of the robbery at the Sheetz store, which happened shortly after midnight in Bellwood. Tyrone Police also learned the Buick may have been used as a getaway car in the Sheetz robbery. Later Sunday morning, Tyrone police also learned of the attempted robbery at the Uni-Mart in Warriors Mark.
Shortly after the attempted robbery in Warriors Mark, Tyrone Police also received word the stolen vehicle was seen headed toward Tyrone. A short time later, the car was spotted on State Route 453 driving north into Tyrone. A Tyrone officer identified Brower as the driver and attempted to stop the vehicle. A short pursuit ensued and the car was lost in traffic.
Around 9:15 on Sunday morning, police got a complaint about an abandoned car and located the stolen vehicle at 1413 Cameron Avenue. A short time later, state police apprehended Brower near 1511 Perry Avenue.
Tyrone Police said they were filing numerous charges against Brower for the incident at the Choice Store including robbery, theft, fleeing and eluding a police officer.
After Brower was discovered in Tyrone, he was taken into custody without incident. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Craig Ormsby.
Brower was placed in Blair County Prison in lieu of $100,000 bail. He was charged with one count each for robbery, simple assault, terroristic threats and theft by unlawful taking in the Sheetz robbery. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 1 before Magisterial District Judge Fred Miller.
Yesterday, Huntingdon County-based state police said their investigation was continuing into the Uni-Mart attempted robbery. Their release did not specify any charges.