Alleged Pa. robber escapes, runs into police

John M. Hoober III, New Era Staff Writer
Copyright 2006 Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.
Lancaster, PA- A man ran the wrong way at the wrong time following a convenience store holdup in downtown Lancaster early today.

Eric Payton, 41, of 13 E. Walnut St., was caught about 30 seconds after he allegedly robbed the A-Plus convenience store at North Prince and East Orange streets at 3:50 a.m., city police Lt. Peter Anders said.

Payton dashed north on Prince Street at the same time officers were rushing out of Lancaster police headquarters at Prince and West Chestnut streets to investigate an unrelated shots-fired call on North Water Street.

The officers saw a man running near Prince and Chestnut as they got word that the A-Plus store had just been robbed. The man, who was Payton, matched the description of the robbery suspect. He had a folding-type knife and a wad of money in a pocket, Anders said.

Officer Will Smith is charging Payton with one count of robbery, Anders said.

Nobody was hurt in the holdup. Police said Payton entered the store, approached a female clerk from behind and told her he had a weapon.

The robber told the clerk to walk behind the counter. He said he wanted money, and then she felt something sharp at her back, police said.

The man fled from the store with the cash and then started running - right into the hands of the police.

Full story: ...

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