Photos released of suspects in Whitpain Tavern robbery

BLUE BELL, Pa. - November 4, 2013

Sgt. Cathy Penecale of the Whitpain Township Police Department explains, "Initially the perimeter was set up by our department and at least 10 other surrounding jurisdictions that came in to assist us."

At 1:33 a.m. a panic alarm was sounded at Whitpain Tavern, located on the 1500 block of Dekalb Pike. Arriving officers were informed that two armed masked men stormed the restaurant, robbing employees and patrons at gunpoint before looting the cash drawer and stealing a safe.

The suspects then made their way outside to the parking lot where they got into a patron's red Ford Mustang with keys stolen in the robbery, and took off north on Dekalb Pike.

Police picked up their trail at Dekalb and Skippack pikes and followed them. Officers set up stop strips along Dekalb.

Sgt. Penecale says, "As the suspects saw that [officers] were setting out the stop strips, they tried to go around it. The vehicle crashed."

The mustang crashed into a wooded area on campus and the two men went running. Canine units were called and police had weapons at the ready.

The campus was on lockdown until around 10:00 a.m., at which time authorities determined there was no longer a threat. Staff was then allowed back in and the campus reopened for class at noon.

The Mustang was towed to the Whitpain Township Police Department for processing. The safe has not been yet been recovered.

The suspects are described as two black males, one slender and the second being heavier set. One of the suspects was wearing a hoodie and the other was wearing a jacket with fur around the hood. They were both wearing black ski masks and armed with hand guns.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Whitpain Township Police at 610-279-9033.

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