By JOHN T. WARD
Two Pennsylvania women were arrested early Saturday morning after they robbed a Red Bank gas station at knifepoint and triggered a pursuit by police from three towns, authorities said.
Red Bank police Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen the incident began at 11:34 p.m. Friday, when the pair entered the convenience store at the Shell station at Newman Springs Road and Shrewsbury Avenue, brandished folding knives and demanded cash and cigarettes.
A store employee emptied the register and handed over about $1,000 in cash and several packs of Newports, which the women requested by brand, McConnell said.
The pair then fled in a car they had parked near the car wash at the site and fled west on Newman Springs Road — with gas station attendant in pursuit in his own vehicle, McConnell said.
The attendant, whose name was not immediately available, spotted a Middletown police officer who was on a traffic stop and alerted him to the robbery, McConnell said.
The officer took off in pursuit of the suspects, who he’d seen entering the Garden State Parkway northbound, but they left the highway at exit 114 and were unseen by Red Bank and Middletown cops, who were quickly joined in the search by Holmdel police, McConnell said.
Within 15 minutes of the robbery, a Holmdel officer spotted the vehicle as it headed back to the parkway and pulled it over without incident, McConnell said.
Arrested were Emily Schwartz, 19, of New Tripoli, Pennsylvania, and Kayla Gregson, 20, of Saylorsburg. They were charged with robbery and weapons possession counts. In addition, Gregson was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bail was set at $79,000 for Schwartz and $79,750 for Gregson, said McConnell. Red Bank police transported them to the Monmouth County lockup early Saturday morning, he said.
Additional charges were expected from Middletown for eluding arrest, he said.