Armed gunmen in Kranich’s Jewelers robbery likely not from area, police say

Police think it’s likely three suspects wanted in a downtown armed robbery Wednesday have fled the area.

Armed with handguns, with faces partially covered, the three men held up Kranich’s Jewelers on East College Avenue at around 10:15 a.m Wednesday, forcing employees to the ground and making off with an undisclosed amount of jewelry.

State College police said Friday the search for the men continues, but added the three probably won’t be found walking down the street in State College.

There is no indication the men are local, and the crime seems to fit the description of a rash of similar robberies across the state, police said.

“They targeted a high-end jewelry store to hit,” said State College police Lt. Keith Robb.

Charles Kranich, who owns the store, already was aware of the disturbing trend before it hit home Wednesday. Kranich said jewelry stores have been on “high alert,” in response to what he called a worsening ring of robberies in Pennsylvania.

Robb said State College police are aware of the other cases and have been in contact with those departments to share information.

Police did not release additional information about the investigation Friday.

During the robbery, the employees were forced to the floor while the gunmen demanded the keys to the display case. The suspects took an undisclosed amount of jewelry from the cases plus a ring, a watch and a wallet from one of the employees.

At least two of the men were armed with revolvers.

The first suspect is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 180 pounds and wearing a navy blue running suit and a gray hoodie. The man had “stubbly” facial hair, a round face and missing tooth. He carried a long-barreled silver gun thought to be a revolver and was lighter skinned than the other two, police said.

The second man was also 5 feet 8 inches tall and was wearing a black jacket, blue jeans, shiny black shoes and a dark ball cap. He also carried a silver colored revolver and was holding a black Reebok bag, police said. They said the man has a deep voice and was wearing a neckwarmer-like garment pulled up over part of his face.

Police described the third suspect as dark skinned and between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 1 inch tall with a larger build. The man wore a blue or black waist-length jacket with a hood, a beanie cap with a logo and had his face covered. This suspect carried the majority of the merchandise out in a large blue or black duffel bag with a Mercedes-type logo on the side.

Police also said the first suspect referenced one of the other men as “Big.”

Downtown Improvement District Executive Director George Arnold said Friday that despite the bold nature of the robbery, downtown in broad daylight, he has not heard concerns from business owners or from downtown patrons or employees.

Borough Manager Tom Fountaine said there is no evidence to suggest there is an ongoing threat to the safety of individuals in the community.

“State College continues to be one of the safest places in the country,” he said.