Police Arrest Robbery Suspects Who Triggered Manhunt, Say They Were Carrying Toy Guns

Suspects Taken Into Custody In Target Parking Lot

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HARMAR TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Two Washington County men, who managed to elude capture in a police manhunt Wednesday night, are now in custody.

Police were tipped off to their location by the manager of the Target store in Harmar Township.

Daniel Merico, 29, and 37-year-old Danny Pietroboni, both of Donora, are accused of robbing Largents Pallet Recycling Company in Indiana Township on Wednesday evening.

daniel merico pietroboni Police Arrest Robbery Suspects Who Triggered Manhunt, Say They Were Carrying Toy Guns

Daniel Merico (L) and Daniel Pietroboni (R) (Source: Allegheny County)

Turns out, Pietroboni once worked at the recycling business.

The pair apparently thought changing their appearance would help conceal their identities, but they were wrong.

Sonny Stitt, from New Kensington, reacted to the arrests in the Target parking lot on Thursday night, saying, “They’re idiots. There’s no explanation, you know, that’s it.”

Police said the Target manager became suspicious and called 911 just before noon Thursday. He said he thought two men from the armed robbery were possibly in the store. He said they purchased new clothes, and left old clothes in the bathroom.

When police showed up, Merico and Pietroboni were sitting at a Freeport Road bus stop, near the Target store, they tried to run off, but they were quickly arrested.

After the robbery Wednesday night, dozens of police swarmed through the neighborhood searching for the two suspects, describing them as “armed and dangerous,” and telling people to lock their doors and stay inside.

Neighbors said it was unsettling to hear.

Omar Chowdhry told KDKA-TV News, “Obviously, that’s pretty scary, especially more than anything, for the kids and everything.”

Only after questioning the pair did police determine that Merico and Pietroboni were armed with toy guns. They got about $2,400 in the robbery. Authorities have not said if any or all of the money was recovered.

Charges against the suspects include robbery, carrying a firearm without a license and receiving stolen property. They’re both now in the Allegheny County Jail.

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