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Mingo robbery suspect arrested

September 30, 2011
By JEREMY KINS - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

MINGO JUNCTION - Mingo Junction Police and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department are waiting for a warrant to search the duffel bag and car of a man charged with robbing the Mingo Pharmacy on Thursday.

Brian T. Folda, 27, of 4651 county Road 17, Rayland, was arrested Thursday afternoon in conjunction with the robbery, the sheriff's department reported.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said he believes there is a connection between the attempted robbery of the pharmacy and an earlier bomb threat at Hills Elementary School.

An anonymous call came into the county's 911 center about a bomb threat to Hills Elementary around 2:30 p.m.. After a search of the grounds, the building was determined clear and safe, according to the sheriff's department.

The sheriff's department reported the call came from a pay phone in the Hollywood Shopping Plaza in Steubenville. A surveillance tape was acquired from CVS Pharmacy which shows a man placing the call. Abdalla said clothing found in the Folda's car appears to match the clothing worn by the person making the bomb threat.

Mingo Junction Police and the sheriff's department were called around 2:48 p.m. to a holdup alarm at Mingo Pharmacy on McLister Avenue and learned the suspect fled on foot.

Mingo Junction Police Chief Steve Maguschak said the robber walked into the pharmacy and was staring at the pharmacist, who was talking on the phone. The robber then put on a mask, held out his hand like a gun and walked behind the counter with a duffel bag demanding certain drugs, Maguschak said. The pharmacist fled the store and started yelling that he was being robbed, Maguschak said. The robber followed the pharmacist out the door and then fled, the chief said.

Mingo Junction Police Capt. Ron Ciccone chased the suspect but lost sight of him. Officers found Folda running behind houses in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue, according to reports.

Police ordered Folda to the ground and placed him under arrest. He was taken to the Jefferson County jail.

Deputies reported Folda's vehicle was found parked around the corner from the pharmacy. The vehicle was impounded as evidence.

Maguschak said Folda was carrying a duffel bag when he was arrested.

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