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JS man jailed, accused of robbing store

JERSEY SHORE — The Smokers Express store in Jersey Shore was robbed early Thursday and an area man has been charged with the crime.

Jess L. Rauch, 44, of Jersey Shore, held up Smokers Express at 350 Allegheny St. just after 7 a.m. Thursday, according to Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police

As police arrived, Rauch fled the scene.

“Shortly after dispatch a volunteer firefighter who heard the description of the male over the radio, observed him get into a vehicle that was stashed in the 100 block of Calvert Street, two blocks from the Smoker’s Express,” police said.

The driver “took off and a pursuit ensued,” police said.

The reported pursuit ended in the 100 block of Arch Street, where Rauch allegedly fled the vehicle on foot.

Police said they followed clear footprints in the snow to the rear of a residence in the 500 block of South Main Street, where they found Rauch allegedly attempting to hide from officers under a table.

“Rauch was taken into custody without incident. The stolen cash was located approximately two feet from where Rauch was hiding, stashed underneath a blue cooler,” police said.

It was unclear how much money was taken and what type of weapon Rauch allegedly used. Rauch was charged with one felony count each of robbery and fleeing or attempting to elude officer, misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, simple assault, theft, receiving stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lycoming County Magisterial District Judge Jerry C. Lepley arraigned Rauch and set bail at $150,000. Rauch was committed to the Lycoming County Prison, unable to post bail.

“The Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police would like to thank the various citizens of Jersey Shore that assisted in the apprehension of this suspect,” the agency said.

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