EDWARDSVILLE — A suspect in a robbery at the Hazle Mart store in Wilkes-Barre led police on a several-mile car pursuit that ended with a canine search in woods near Kmart and Lowe’s Home Improvement on Monday afternoon.
Police identified the suspect as Peter Naperkowski of Wilkes-Barre, who eluded authorities when he abandoned a vehicle in front of Kmart on Route 11 and fled through the store and ran out an emergency rear door.
At least three police canines were used to search the woods behind Kmart and near Lowe’s in the West Side Mall.
A woman was detained by police when she was found by the car in front of Kmart, police said.
Police said the Hazle Mart store at Blackman Street and Hazle Avenue was robbed at about 1:45 p.m. by a man armed with a small black handgun.
The gun was not aimed at a clerk.
A witness obtained the license plate of the suspect’s vehicle and followed it to West End Road in Hanover Township and across the 109th (Carey Avenue) Bridge into Larksville.
The suspect turned north on Route 11 and abandoned the car in front of Kmart.
The robbery suspect ran into the store past customers and out an emergency door in the rear.
State police and police in Edwardsville, Kingston and Larksville joined in the search of the woods between the retail stores.
Police did not release the name of the woman who was detained.