Pennsylvania State Police say they’ve got 2 men in custody following an overnight search in southern Schuylkill County.
According to information just received from PSP-Schuylkill Haven, 19-year-old Damar Jordan Coad, of Reading, and 18-year-old John Luis-Fidanqui-Marten, of The Bronx, were arrested at around 7:45 a.m. Thursday.
At around 7:30 a.m., our southern Schuylkill correspondent snapped the photo above of a heavy police presence moving east on Route 895, just north of Port Clinton. We’re told police came from both directions on Route 61 before speeding east on Route 895.
In an update this morning from State Police, they say the two men were involved in an armed robbery on Wednesday evening in Frackville and fled south on Route 61.
According to The Shenandoah Sentinel, which acquired the criminal complaint in this case, Marten and Coad robbed an undercover agent at gunpoint while parked in the Unity Food Mart lot in Frackville. They got away with $7,500 in the heist and then fled south.
They were able to avoid a dragnet through Pottsville before eventually getting caught up on spike strips at the intersection of Routes 61 and 895.
After their vehicle became disabled in what’s believed to be a crash, Coad and Marten fled the scene, running from their wrecked vehicle.
FOR MORE ON THE ARMED ROBBERY: Pair robbed undercover cop of $7,500 in Frackville
Overnight Search Has Residents on Edge, Roads Blockaded
The arrest follows an overnight search of large swath of rural southern Schuylkill County was on edge Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
Pursuit of Armed Suspect Continued Into Thursday Morning Along Route 895 in Schuylkill County
Early reports from emergency radio at the time, being monitored by The Shenandoah Sentinel publisher Kaylee Lindenmuth, picked up a dispatch suggesting an armed suspect at the crash site fled on foot, potentially armed.
Since that time, Route 61 was closed in both directions for miles. Re-routed traffic on Route 895 was further stalled when a tractor-trailer became disabled on the winding rural road. It took until 1:45 a.m. for traffic to begin moving on Route 895 but Route 61 remain closed from Deer Lake to Tilden Township, Berks County. At 2:28 a.m., Route 61 was reopened to traffic. Route 895 fully reopened at 2:40 a.m.
At one point during the height of activity at the scene Wednesday night, a person showing FBI credentials was allowed through a roadblock driving a Ford Econoline van.
A Pennsylvania State Police helicopter circled the area for several hours prior, apparently searching for the individual or individuals who fled the scene.
Fire and fire police personnel remained at the scene well into Thursday morning, presumably because police have not taken their suspect into custody.
Residents on Edge
We received this update from one of our readers who lives in the area and was stuck in traffic for a while last night:
“I live right at the intersection of where the car crashed. Wife called me at work and told me what she heard, so I headed home. (Route) 61 was shut down at Lowland Ave. with a fire police checkpoint, so I called the State Police and got clearance to pass the checkpoint as there was no other way to make it home to my family.
“I passed 3 Hamburg Fire Police checkpoints/blockades with firetrucks blocking northbound 61 between Lowland Ave and the 61/895 junction.
“At the 895 junction there was armed plainclothes officers with rifles who let me pass when I explained who I was (sic). They told me they had set up a command center down 895 towards Hawk Mountain.
“When I arrived home helicopters were circling the woods around my home and small drones were flying overhead.”
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