Shippenville man arrested in armed robbery

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By BRETT R. WHITLING
CLARION NEWS Writer

A 23-year-old Shippenville man allegedly robbed Kaival Food Mart on Main Street in Clarion Borough of cigarettes and $800 in the early morning of Nov. 11.

Christopher L. Wyant is charged with robbery, a first-degree felony; theft and receiving stolen property, a first-degree misdemeanor and simple assault, a second-degree misdemeanor.

Around 4:11 a.m. Nov. 11, Clarion County Office of Emergency Services dispatched Clarion Borough Police Officer Evan Maxwell for report of a silent alarm at Kaival Food Mart.

When Maxwell and Clarion University Public Safety officers arrived, several individuals waved for police to go inside.

An employee told police an individual, later identified as Wyant, allegedly entered the store wearing a hoodie, a red half-face mask and black gloves.

Wyant allegedly had two long kitchen knives and displayed them in a threatening manner.

Wyant allegedly held a trash bag over the county and said, “Money and cigarettes.”

The employee allegedly said Wyant left the store with 11 cartons of cigarettes and approximately $800 in cash from the register and was seen heading west on Main Street.

Clarion University Public Safety Officer William McDevitt Jr. radioed Maxwell to meet in front of the Clarion County Administration Building where a large amount of cigarette packs were allegedly dumped in the street along with a cell phone.

A red BMX bicycle was allegedly found in the grass on the south side of Main Street just in front of the administration building.

Maxwell believed it was the same bike owned by Wyant which was seen at a noise complaint location earlier in the night.

When police spoke to Wyant at his residence, he allegedly said he let his cousin borrow his bicycle and cell phone 20 minutes prior to police arriving.

Wyant’s cousin was not home when police attempted to talk to him but found out he works at Country Fair in Paint Township.

A manager confirmed Wyant’s cousin started work at midnight and had been there the whole time.

Police went back to Clarion to look for Wyant at several locations but was unable to locate him.

Upon reviewing the video footage at Kaival, it was noticed the robber allegedly had a tattoo on his right wrist.

OES personnel told police they allegedly saw a male in a hoodie on his bicycle ride past the 9-1-1 center just before the robbery. An OES worker confirmed a photo of Wyant was the one who rode past.

OES confirmed additional footage of Wyant allegedly in front of the administration building, leaving his bike, cigarettes and phone in the road.

The same morning of the incident, Clarion Borough Police Detective Neil Kemmer and Officer Roger Wright made contact with Wyant at an apartment on Merle Road.

Several items were also allegedly found at the apartment which matched the surveillance video including a hoodie, a pair of black gloves and two kitchen knives. Police also allegedly found a blue bag with a large amount of cigarette packs matching the same kind stolen and $251 in cash.

Wyant arraigned by District Judge Timothy Schill and placed in the Clarion County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail.