Meadville Tribune

Local News

April 15, 2014

Second suspect nabbed in Country Fair robbery

VERNON TOWNSHIP — The second of two men wanted in connection with last week’s holdup of a Country Fair convenience store is now behind bars.

Bradley J. Whitslar, 22, of 122 S. Third St., Duquesne, was arrested Monday around 7:15 p.m. near Meadville’s Fairmont Apartment Complex by U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force. Law enforcers had been searching the area Friday evening and a state police helicopter joined in the search.

Whitslar was arraigned Tuesday before Magisterial District Judge Lincoln Zilhaver on multiple charges filed by Pennsylvania State Police. The charges against Whitslar are four counts of robbery; one count each of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property; and six counts of conspiracy.

On Saturday, Allen Lamont Austin Jr., 19, of 5350 Hillcrest St., Pittsburgh, the first of the men captured in connection with the burglary, was arraigned before Zilhaver and placed in the Crawford County jail in lieu of $75,000 bond.

Whitslar and Austin are accused by state police of robbing the Country Fair on Conneaut Lake Road near Interstate 79 early last Friday morning.

Austin also is charged by state police with four counts of robbery; one count each of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property; and six counts of conspiracy.

According to state police, the pair entered the store at about 2:35 a.m., robbing it of $281. The two men are known and/or acquaintances of several people in the Meadville area, police said.

Police allege Whitslar acted as a lookout while Austin displayed a silver revolver to one of two clerks on duty and demanded money. After getting the money, the two men ran from the store, east toward Meadville.

Two men matching the robbers’ description were spotted around 4:50 p.m. Friday on Pine Street by a Meadville police officer, but the officer was able to apprehend only one of the men, Austin, according to the arrest affidavit.

Austin was identified through the store’s surveillance tapes and subsequently charged by state police on Saturday. Austin subsequently identified Whitslar as the other suspect during interviews with police, according to the affidavit.

Both men are being held in the Crawford County jail in lieu of $75,000 bond each, awaiting preliminary hearings on their charges May 6 before Magisterial District Judge Michael Rossi of Vernon Township.

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