2010-07-01 / Local & State

Franklin County Man Arrested In Robbery Here

Preliminary hearing continued for David Hippensteel
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

David Hippensteel David Hippensteel A Franklin County man was sent to the Franklin County Prison in lieu of $30,000 bail following an armed robbery on the sidewalk along Lincoln Way East in Mc- Connellsburg Borough late last Thursday evening.

David Allen Hippensteel of 1062 Hamilton Drive, Chambersburg, was arraigned Friday before Magisterial District Judge Wendy Mellott in connection with the June 24 robbery at knife point. Hippensteel is charged by Pennsylvania State Police with three counts of robbery ranging from a felony one to felony three, as well as two counts of harassment and one count each of terroristic threats, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property and simple assault.

Hippensteel allegedly approached a 26-year-old Limerick, Pa., man from behind at 10:45 p.m. and struck him in the shoulder, according to investigating officer Trooper Angela Rohrer of the Mc- Connellsburg substation. Hippensteel then reportedly brandished a knife and demanded the victim give him money, which totalled $75.

The two men had met earlier in the evening prior to the robbery, an affidavit of probable cause filed by Trooper Roher maintains. Using the alias of “Garrett,” Hippensteel is accused of posing as the brother of a McConnellsburg woman who was slated to go out on a date the victim identified in the affidavit as Sebastian D. Santibanez.

Santibanez told state police he had conversed with the woman over the computer, telephone and text messages after meeting on a social networking Web site. In his conversations with police, Santibanez said he had agreed to meet the woman for the very first time the evening of the holdup. He had also withdrawn $75 from a Tower Bank automated teller to help cover the woman’s babysitting expenses during their date.

Police pointed out in the affidavit that Santibanez arrived late for his date and eventually agreed to meet up with the woman, her alleged brother, Garrett, and her 1- year-old baby at the McConnellsburg Sheetz. However, only the brother showed up, and Santibanez refused to give up the $75 in cash. The money was later taken during the robbery in the sidewalk/ alley area located between 315 and 403 Lincoln Way East.

Utilizing Santibanez’s description of the man he knew only as Garrett” and additional information,

troopers were able troopers were able to locate Hippensteel, 26, at a trailer along East Market Street.

In the hours following the armed robbery, the woman informed investigators her boyfriend residing in South Carolina pretended to be her and

posted the original notes to Santibanez on the social networking site. The money taken from Santibanez was to be used to relocate the boyfriend back to McConnellsburg. Roher added in the charging documents that Hippensteel was currently residing with the woman and was believed to be the father of her youngest child.

The woman maintained during the state police interview that she knew nothing of the robbery or knife, but a portion of the money was spent on jello for her sick child and cigarettes. In addition, Hippensteel countered that he had been given the money by Santibanez at Sheetz. The empty bank teller’s envelope had been tossed out and located by officers the morning following the robbery, the affidavit concluded.

Hippensteel was scheduled to appear in Fulton County Central Court for a preliminary hearing on Monday, June 28, at 1:30 p.m. That hearing has been continued for a later date.

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