Hot dog stand owner charged in heists

Feb. 17, 2012 at 8:47 AM

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The owner of a Pittsburgh-area hot dog stand was arrested after he allegedly robbed two banks and was caught by customers of one of them, police said.

Captain Barnes, proprietor of Dormont Dogs in suburban Dormont, was charged Wednesday, a day after a robbery at a bank in a supermarket, where he nearly escaped with $4,000 in cash, police said.

The money, in a grocery bag, spilled and scattered in the street after the robber left the bank. Bank customers and others caught him and held him down until police arrived, investigators said.

Barnes was also charged in a robbery Monday. In that incident, a bomb squad was sent in after the robber said a bomb was planted in the bank, police said.

Police closed the hot dog stand and found what they described as "a significant amount of cash" hidden in a cooler. Officers said they believe the money was taken in the Monday holdup, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.

Barnes told detectives he committed the crimes because he was deeply in debt, said Lt. Kevin Kraus of the police Major Crimes Division.

Kraus praised the actions of witnesses who detained Barnes.

"It was the right decision and we're certainly thankful for their efforts," he said.

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