Seven people, including a store clerk, are being charged with staging a fake robbery Nov. 30 at a local gas station/convenience store, state police said Thursday.

The clerk – identified as Kayla Marie Olbert, 20, of Nanty Glo – reportedly knew ahead of time that two men would be entering Fueland to steal cigarettes and money, Trooper Edward Miller said.

Olbert reported that the robbers got away with 15 cartons of cigarettes and a small amount of cash from the Shoemaker Street store.

Police identified the thieves who entered the store as Damian Robert Markel, 24, of Mahaffey, Clearfield County, and James Matthew Wiley, 19, of Patton.

The other conspirators waited in a car parked nearby. They were identified as Christi Lynn Maxwell, 30, of Portage; Chance Daniel Griffon, 19, Nanty Glo; Edward Thomas Newcomer, 19, of Johnstown; and Tabitha Jean Fenchak, 25, of Strongstown.

Olbert is charged with criminal conspiracy to commit theft and making false reports to law enforcement.

The other six are being charged with theft, criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property and criminal solicitation.

Miller said the charges would be filed today before District Judge Mary Ann Zanghi of Vinco. The suspects will be mailed summonses with a notice to appear for a preliminary hearing on the misdemeanors, Miller said. The charges were prompted by two anonymous tips to state police.

Miller has investigated a number of false reports of robberies, including one two months ago of a heist at the Fallentimber post office.

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