Restaurant robbed by man with steak knife

A man who may have robbed the Panda Chinese Restaurant at 335 Rose St. on Tuesday night was being detained and questioned at police headquarters after he was taken into a custody at gunpoint about 30 minutes after the holdup, city police told the Sun-Gazette.

The man, whose identity was not released, was nabbed about 7:40 p.m.. hiding behind a tavern in the 500 block of Cemetery Street.

Police were told a man with a black handkerchief over his face and armed with what was initially believed to be a thin, stainless steel steak knife, walked into the restaurant and demanded money about 7:15 p.m.

When an employee refused to cooperate, the bandit simply picked up the cash register and walked out the door, police were told.

This was the third armed robbery to occur at a business in the neighborhood in six days. A man armed with a butcher knife robbed a clerk at the nearby Hoby’s Hoagies and Pizza at 1229 W. Fourth St. on Thursday night.

On Sunday afternoon, a man, again armed with a butcher knife, held up the Moon Mart at 1421 High St., about six blocks north of the two other robbery scenes.

The description of the suspect in Tuesday night’s holdup, a thin black man believe to be five feet seven inches to five feet nine inches tall, was similar to the description of the robbers in the two other cases, police said.

Within minutes after the Chinese restaurant holdup, an officer started chasing a man carrying a register near Memorial Avenue and Cemetery Street.

The man dropped the register and darted in between houses, according to police sources.

More police officers, including state troopers and members of the Old Lycoming Township, South Williamsport and Pennsylvania College of Technology police departments rushed to the area to assist with the manhunt, which ended with the suspect being found in an alley off of Cemetery Street.

The restaurant employee who was robbed was brought to the scene to see if he could identify the man as the alleged robber. It was unknown if the employee could positively identify the man as the bandit

When officers arrived at police headquarters with the suspect in handcuffs, a police agent turned away a Sun-Gazette photographer, asking that no pictures be taken of the man at this time.

Police recovered the register as well as a bicycle the robber may have used. Officers still continued to search for the knife used in the holdup.

In addition to the three robberies in the city, Hughesville police are investigating a holdup that reportedly occurred at the Uni-Mart on Main Street on Saturday night. The suspect in that case was identified as a white male with blond hair. Efforts to get any details from borough police have been unsuccessful.