Police: Men rob gas station, run out of gas

July 1, 2009 10:47:02 AM PDT
Two Pennsylvania men robbed an upstate New York gas station and might have gotten away if they had remembered to fuel up, police said. Lonnie Meckwood, 29, and Phillip Weeks, 51, were caught after their car ran out of gas about a mile from the station late Monday night, state police said Wednesday.

"If they don't run out of gas, they're long gone," said Investigator Fred Goodall.

Meckwood, of Carbondale, and Weeks, of Tunkhannock, were arraigned on first-degree robbery charges and are being held without bail in the Broome County Jail. A court clerk said the men appeared without lawyers.

Troopers said the men used a kitchen knife to steal an undisclosed amount of cash from a clerk at the Quickway Convenience Store in Kirkwood, 80 miles south of Syracuse and near the New York-Pennsylvania border.

The robbers cut the gas station's phone lines, but the clerk was able to alert police with a panic alarm. The clerk wasn't hurt.

After interviewing the clerk and reviewing surveillance tapes at the scene, troopers caught up with the Pennsylvania men nearby. Their 1995 Saturn was on the side of the road, out of gas.

Investigator William Dengler said one suspect was arrested pouring gas into the car. The other took off into nearby woods, but surrendered when troopers with dogs began chasing him.

"They were actually knocking on doors trying to find people to give them some gas," Dengler said. Several neighbors called state police to complain.

They eventually found someone who offered to take them to a gas station - the same one they had just robbed.

"It was the closest gas station. They said, `No, I don't want to go there. I want to go to Hallstead,' which is a neighboring town just over the state line. So the person took them there to get their gas," Dengler said.

The men bought the gas with the stolen money, he said.

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