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Two From Wellsburg Charged in Pennsylvania Bank Robbery

A North Strabane police vehicle can be seen parked in front of First National Bank on Route 19 following a June 5 robbery.

CANONSBURG, PA. — Moments after a West Virginia couple allegedly robbed a Pennsylvania bank last week, the duo drove their getaway car to a fried chicken restaurant in Canonsburg less than two miles away, where they dined-in over brunch using cash believed to be from the heist, police report.

Brandon D. Scerri, 29, and Kayla Pruett, 28, both of Wellsburg, were charged Monday by North Strabane Township police with numerous felony counts in connection with the June 5 robbery at First National Bank on Route 19 in which nearly $7,500 was taken, according to court documents.

North Strabane police were alerted of the bank robbery around 9:45 a.m. and began reviewing surveillance camera videos from the area and license plate readers in the township. They soon focused in on a blue sedan with a stolen license plate from West Virginia that had been seen circling the bank parking lot shortly before the robbery.

A similar bank robbery happened two days earlier at Washington Financial Bank on East Wylie Avenue in Washington, and city detectives had information that Scerri may have conducted that heist as well, according to court documents. The two police departments worked alongside federal investigators and were able to track Scerri’s residence to an apartment at 190 Washington Pike in Wellsburg, where the building’s landlord provided a photograph to authorities showing he owned a blue sedan matching the description of the vehicle used in the robbery.

That allowed authorities to use surveillance videos from around the area to follow the vehicle’s movements before, during and after the robbery.

According to court documents, Scerri and Pruett were seen on video walking from the vehicle into the Wendy’s restaurant in Canonsburg at 9:22 a.m. on June 5 as they retrieved a piece of paper that was ultimately used to write the robber’s demands. About 20 minutes later, the couple could be seen on video driving to the First National before Scerri parked the car and then exited the driver’s seat to enter the bank.

The note claimed the robber had a firearm, although no gun was shown during the heist. Police said Scerri was wearing a hat and medical face mask during the robbery to obscure his identity, but his clothes matched what he was wearing while at the Wendy’s restaurant minutes earlier. Investigators said Scerri left the bank with $7,450 in cash.

The couple then drove to Canonsburg, where they went to Walgreens on Cavasina Drive. They then went across the parking lot to Kentucky Fried Chicken shortly after 10 a.m. and ate brunch in the dining room “for a period of time,” according to court documents.

Police filed arrest warrants against Scerri and Pruett at District Judge James Saieva Jr.’s office in Canonsburg, although neither was in custody as of Monday afternoon.

Anyone with information on the couple’s whereabouts is asked to call North Strabane police at 724-746-8474.


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