Robbery suspect on the loose after holding up Tyrone bank

\”We have reason to believe he may still be in the woods; there’s some indication somebody may be in there right now.”
Those were the words of Tyrone Police Chief Joseph Beachem when he addressed the media shortly after 3 p.m. yesterday regarding the suspect wanted in a 12:30 p.m. bank robbery at Citizens Bank at 501 Third Street in Tyrone.
By about 6 p.m., police had wound down an extensive manhunt that included several police agencies, a helicopter, dogs and door-to-door searches.
The day’s events also included a lockdown at the Tyrone Area School District and the brief closing of a store while a police helicopter hovered overhead.
Police issued photos taken from video surveillance cameras that showed a man approaching tellers. Chief Beachem described the suspect as a white male about six feet tall, weighing 175 to 180 pounds with a ball cap with a blue brim, white t-shirt, baggy jeans and sneakers.
Beachem said the suspect appeared to be using a silver semiautomatic handgun that looked to be of larger caliber. He could not verify the exact make or model. Beachem told The Herald, the suspect made off with about $312.
The FBI headed yesterday’s investigation, which is usual procedure in bank robberies. In addition to several Tyrone Police officers, a forensic services unit from the Hollidaysburg State Police was involved in the investigation. Chief Beachem said Bellwood Police also assisted.
Earlier in the search, police focused on the Sylvan Acres apartments after getting information from a resident. Chief Beachem said a traffic stop was conducted for a brief time early in the search, but authorities then focused on the suspect being on foot.
Tyrone Area School Superintendent Dr. William N. Miller said the school activated its lockdown system shortly after the robbery.
“Students that were practicing in band came inside the school, we closed the doors and (went into) lockdown,” said Dr. Miller.
The football team was at the Bull Pen Restaurant at the time the lockdown was put into effect. The team remained there during the situation.
Dr. Miller said about 60 to 70 band students were kept in the school building and parents came to pick up students and they were released as parents arrived throughout the afternoon.
At the Bull Pen, the football team continued on their efforts to prepare for the upcoming season. They were later picked up by parents or were eventually allowed to go home.
Dr. Miller said all of the students at the school and the Bull Pen were released by around 6 p.m. The district also canceled all other scheduled activities for the rest of the day and evening. Dr. Miller said the district was back on a normal schedule as of this morning.
Around 4:30 p.m. yesterday, the Dollar General store closed for about an hour while a police helicopter focused its search over an area in Snyder Township. Officials closed the store for safety reasons according to an on-duty manager.
Shortly after 6:30 p.m. yesterday, Chief Beachem told The Daily Herald there were no new significant developments in the case. This morning, he said the investigation was continuing and authorities are looking at different leads.
After last night’s Tyrone Borough Council meeting, Mayor Jim Kilmartin commented on the robbery.
“I think it’s a tragedy to have these things happen in our community, and I hope our community can come together and identify this person,” said Mayor Kilmartin. “The Tyrone Police force has done a tremendous job in everything they’ve been doing. I’m very sure they’ll get this taken care of as they have in the past.”
A representative of Citizens Bank in Tyrone said the business was operating on its normal schedule today.