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Man who earned Crime Stoppers Reward did the right thing

Rodney Rockwell’s alertness paid dividends in more ways than one. Because of his actions, four alleged robbers have been arrested. And for doing the right thing, Rockwell earned a financial reward and the appreciation of the law enforcement community.

Pennsylvania State Police in Uniontown and the Fayette County Crime Stoppers are hoping other area residents will follow Rockwell’s lead in the future, thus sending a message that the public at large won’t tolerate crime in Fayette County.

On the morning of July 19, Rockwell was working at a service station along Beeson Street in Uniontown when an announcement of a bank robbery came over the state police scanner. Rockwell heard police were on the lookout for a white Mercedes with a temporary license plate from Washington, D.C., that was involved in the robbery of the Huntingdon Bank in Morgantown, W.Va.

About 30 minutes later, Rockwell looked outside and saw a vehicle matching the description he’d heard on the scanner. The vehicle was pulling slowly into a lot across the street from where he works. Rockwell called the state police in Uniontown, who arrived and made the arrests.

Charges were filed against the four individuals involved in the robbery. Police were also able to execute a search warrant for the Mercedes and found rubber gloves, two-way walkie-talkies, nearly $16,000 directly linked to the robbery and a handgun, which was allegedly used to pistol-whip a 74-year-old woman during the robbery.

Officials with Crime Stoppers reviewed the case and determined Rockwell was deserved a financial reward. The FBI also presented Rockwell with a certificate in recognition of his actions.

We join authorities in lauding Rockwell for his deed, and encourage others to follow his example. All too often people witness a crime and turn a blind eye, not wanting to get involved. Money should not be our incentive, and we doubt Rockwell saw dollar signs when he picked up the phone and notified police of what he saw. Rather, he felt he was just doing the right thing.

We should consider it our civic duty to alert authorities when anyone is breaking the law.


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