Arrest made in robbery at knifepoint; suspect sought in 2nd

Shortly after allegedly robbing a female employee at knifepoint at Cupp’s Vacuum Center, 1001 Washington Blvd., on Tuesday afternoon, Jahnasia Wiggs was taken into custody at her home, less than two blocks from the crime scene, city police said.

Police allege Wiggs, 22, of 837 Washington Blvd., walked into the business about 3:10 p.m., pointed a knife at an employee and stated “Give me the money,” Patrolman Jeremy Brown wrote in an affidavit.

The employee indicated she “was scared for her life and immediately opened the cash register, grabbed some cash and handed it towards the suspect,” Brown said in the court document.

Wiggs allegedly snatched the money and fled out the door, Brown said.

This was the second business to be robbed in the city in less than 24 hours.

Police are still looking for a man who robbed the Mini Mart at 1037 High St. on Monday night and made off with an undetermined amount of cash.

When officers arrived at Cupp’s, the employee “was very upset and shaking,” Brown said. The robbery was caught on the store’s surveillance cameras and was reviewed by Brown. He recognized Wiggs in the video.

In the affidavit, Brown said had “contact” with Wiggs on Monday as she was a suspect in the theft of some money that occurred that morning at the Turkey Hill at 700 Washington Blvd.

Police said Wiggs had been in Cupp’s on at least one other occasion.

Brown said that while he was responding to the robbery at the vacuum cleaner business, he drove past Wiggs’ home and saw her “step out onto her porch.” She then waved to him as he drove by, he said.

Wiggs was taken into custody without incident. The store employee, taken in a cruiser to where Wiggs was being detained, identified her as the woman who allegedly robbed her.

After she waived her rights, Wiggs admitted to committing the robbery and stealing cash from a money bag that was on the counter at the Turkey Hill about 9:45 a.m. Monday, Brown said.

Wiggs also admitted to “discarding” the knife she allegedly used in the robbery “in an unknown yard and stashed the money from the robbery behind the dryer” in her home, Brown said.

Following her arraignment Tuesday night before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on charges of robbery, possession of an instrument of crime, simple assault and theft. She was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $90,000 bail.

Additional charges, stemming from the incident at the Turkey Hill, are pending against her, police said.

Police are trying to develop leads into who committed the robbery at the Mini Mart on High St. about 9:30 p.m. Monday.

No one was injured, but the man pushed aside a short woman ahead of him in line once the clerk opened a register, a female store employee told a reporter who visited the scene Tuesday afternoon.

“He just grabbed the cash and ran out the door. He didn’t say a word,” the employee, who did not give her name, said. “He had been in the store for several minutes. He was walking around, but he didn’t buy anything.”

“He stepped outside and then came back in. He stood in line, but allowed a woman (the one he shoved) to go ahead of him. I think he was just waiting for an opportunity (for the register to be opened),” the employee said.

The woman who was shoved chased after the man to the edge of the store’s property, the employee said.

Police conducted an extensive search, but as of Tuesday night, he remained at large.

Police described the suspect as black, heavy set and wearing a green jacket and brown hat.