The city of Corry Police Department has arrested the man who committed an armed robbery at Perkins less than 24 hours after the crime occurred.
Jason M. Peterson, 40, of Corry, was arrested at 2:42 p.m. on Friday after Corry City Police determined he was the one who robbed Perkins Restaurant, 310 W. Columbus Ave., Corry, with a handgun at about 10:03 p.m. Thursday.
Peterson was taken into custody at Lot 1 of Corry Estates Mobile Home Community located at 13695 W. Washington St., across from the Beaver Complex, and transported to the city police station.
Police will be filing charges of robbery, burglary, terroristic threats, simple assault and possession of an instrument of a crime against Peterson. If police locate the gun used to commit the crime when they serve a search warrant at his residence, then Peterson will also be charged with persons not to possess a firearm, which is dependent on his past record, and firearm not to be carried without a license.
Police allege Peterson entered Perkins through the front entrance about 10 minutes before closing and brandished a silver-colored handgun as he forced the manager to open the store's safe.
The handgun used during the robbery and the stolen money had not been recovered as of press time on Friday. Police estimate that Peterson stole between $1,500 and $3,000.
"That's what we're getting the search warrant for, to see if we can recover the money, the gun and everything else," Corry City Police Chief Rich Shopene said.
Police planned to execute the search warrant on Friday evening at the mobile home where Peterson was apprehended.
While conducting an investigation Thursday night, police spoke to eyewitnesses who thought they knew the identity of the robber.
"They helped, and did a little research on their own and determined they did know the person, who used to be a past employee of Perkins and would know the closing sequences," said Shopene, who added it has been years since Peterson was employed at Perkins.
Since Perkins does not have security cameras, police went through video surveillance footage from McDonald's, which is adjacent to Perkins, and saw Peterson running from the scene of the crime.
"We found video showing him running from Perkins up to a car parked behind McDonald's, getting in the car with a plastic bag, which he put everything in at Perkins, and drove off through the parking lot of McDonald's," Shopene said.
Police watched the video and took pictures of the vehicle Peterson got into. Police then compared the pictures to the vehicle parked in Peterson's driveway and they were an exact match, according to Shopene.
Witnesses' detailed account of the robbery helped police quickly catch the suspect.
"One of the things that we had that we didn't want to release, because it would tip a lot of stuff off, is the person who did the robbery had a crippled hand," Shopene said. "The person we arrested had a severe injury to the hand ... like they described to the officers last night."
Shopene praised the city police officers, witnesses and everyone else that assisted with the investigation.
"I would commend the cooperation, the investigation and the time the guys put in. Also the witnesses and cooperation that we had from Perkins and McDonald's and everybody that has been part of this investigation," he said. "Their descriptions fit to a T ... and we were able to get this person who committed an armed robbery with a gun and have him into custody in less than 24 hours.
"It was the culmination of the investigation of second shift, third shift and day shift [Friday] that brought us to this quick conclusion and resolution in this case," Shopene said.