Police released surveillance photos of two armed robbers who targeted a tavern near a suburban Pennsylvania college, leading to a chase which forced a delay in classes Monday morning.
Police say they received a report of a silent alarm call from the Whitpain Tavern on the 1500 block of Dekalb Pike (U.S. Route 202) in Blue Bell, Pa. around 1:30 a.m.
Two masked men, at least one armed, burst into the bar and demanded the safe.
The men robbed all the employees and customers inside the tavern at gunpoint, robbed the cash register, and stole the safe, according to police. Police say they then stole a red Ford Mustang and sped off northbound on Dekalb.
Officers quickly spotted the stolen sports car and set up tire spikes on the roadway near Tournament Drive. The suspects crashed into the parking lot of nearby Montgomery County Community College. The men then got out of the car and ran off into the surrounding woods.
"There's a large wooded area back there so we are canvassing that area, deploying men in such a way that we can cover as much of that area as possible," said Whitpain Township Police Sgt. Cathy Penecale.
Throughout the morning, officers with flashlights and guns drawn searched the woods. About an hour later, the SWAT team left the scene without capturing anyone.
Montgomery County Community College's Blue Bell Campus doesn't have any dorms so no students were in harm's way. As the search continued, the college delayed its opening Monday until noon as the campus was put on lockdown.
Other area preschools also kept kids inside during the search. And, Penecale urged area residents to check outside before leaving their homes.
A person at the tavern said no employees or patrons were hurt during the theft. Police say it wasn't the first time the establishment was targeted by thieves.
This wasn't the only safe heist overnight. A safe was also taken from O'Grady's Pub in nearby Souderton, Pa. and dumped behind the building.
There is no word if the two restaurant thefts are related.
The safe still has not been recovered and the suspects remain on the loose. If you have any information, please call Whitpain Township Police at 610-279-9033.