UPDATE: Suspect John Allen Jukes turned himself in at the Altoona Police Station on July 26 following Monday’s armed robbery.
Jukes is facing several charges including robbery, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, possession of a weapon, terroristic threats, simple assault and tampering with evidence. He was placed in Blair County Prison on $300,000 bail.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3.
The original story can be found below.
ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — New details have been released about an armed robbery in Altoona where police say two men were involved in stealing thousands of dollars from a grocery store.
Matthew Morrison, 29, was arraigned Tuesday morning on felony charges that include criminal conspiracy to commit robbery, theft, receiving stolen property and other related offenses. He was placed in Blair County Prison on $100,000 bail.
Morrison was found throwing away a lock box that robbery suspect John Jukes allegedly stole from FeFi’s Grocery Store along 2nd Avenue during an armed robbery, according to court documents. Police later spoke to Morrison outside Sheetz on Chestnut Avenue where he reportedly identified Jukes as the robber and said he was inside the convenience store. Morrison also told police Jukes asked him to dispose of the box.
Officers reportedly searched the Sheetz store but did not find Jukes. Security camera video later showed Jukes and Morrison briefly met at Sheetz before leaving immediately after.
When questioned by police, Morrison said Juke’s wife told him on Saturday, July 23 that her husband was planning a big “lick” that involved robbing the FeFi’s Grocery Store. Morrison told police he and Jukes originally planned to rob the store on Sunday, July 24. and went inside to see how many customers and employees were present. They decided the store was too busy and left.
Morrison said they returned on Monday morning and again checked how many people were inside the store. After seeing only one employee inside, Morrison said he walked back to his home along 5th Avenue while Jukes committed the robbery. He said he later saw Jukes ride by him on a bicycle in an alley along 2nd Avenue where he believed Jukes had the lock box hidden under his shirt, according to court documents.
After returning home, Morrison told police Jukes had changed his cloths and asked him to get rid of the lock box and meet him at the Chestnut Avenue Sheetz. Morrison placed the box in a dark colored backpack and threw it into a dumpster in an alley along 6th Avenue, according to police.
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Morrison admitted to police he was a drug addict and Jukes had intended to use the stolen money to buy drugs for him so he would not be sick anymore. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 3.
Jukes has not been arrested and has an active warrant from the Altoona Police Department.