The owner of a York Township jewelry store is in stable condition after being shot three times during an armed robbery of his business Thursday morning, police said.
John White, 57, was shot in the shoulder, arm and abdomen during the 10:28 a.m. robbery, according to York Area Regional Police Chief Tom Gross.
White was conscious when an ambulance rushed him from the scene to York Hospital, where he underwent surgery, the chief said.
Police around central Pennsylvania and Maryland continue to search for a black 2010 Chevrolet Impala, license-plate number HXH-7313, with one to three males inside. There's a possibility the robbers might have switched to Maryland plates, police said.
Anyone who sees the vehicle is urged to call 911 immediately.
The holdup: According to Gross, two men walked into White Jewelers, 204 St. Charles Way, and announced they were robbing the store.
At least one of the men was armed, and also shot a glass display case that held jewelry, Gross said. Two of White's employees -- a man and a woman -- were also in the store at the time but weren't hurt, he said.
At some point during the holdup, a third robber came inside the store and participated, according to the chief.
After taking jewelry, including watches, all three men fled the store and took off in a green Hyundai Elantra that was recently stolen from the Harrisburg area, Gross said.
White Jewelers is an official retailer of Rolex watches, according to its website.
Switched cars: The robbers drove a short distance to Dewdrop Road, where they abandoned the Hyundai, got in the waiting Chevy Impala and took off, police said. The Impala's registration is to an address in Allentown, according to Gross.
As of early Thursday afternoon, Gross said he didn't know why the robbers shot White.
He did say it's believed the robbery wasn't "spontaneous," and that the robbers may have been in the vicinity prior to Thursday.
White has owned and managed White Jewelers since 1988, according to the store's website, and he is a second-generation jewelry-store owner.
The store is in the St. Charles Way Center, across South Queen Street from the York County School of Technology and directly across the street from Children First Learning Center.
Heard shots: Cindy Eaton manages the UPS store adjacent to White Jewelers and was one of the few people in the strip mall to actually hear some of the robbery.
"We heard the gunshots, but we didn't know that's what they were," she said, and didn't realize anything was wrong until they saw a police officer rush up on a motorcycle.
She said she and two co-workers all were standing nearly against the wall that borders the jewelry store when gunfire rang out.
"It still has us shaken up," she said.
'Devoted': Eaton and other shopkeeps described White as a quiet man.
"He keeps to himself," Eaton said. "And he's devoted to his business."
Carl Young, who owns E-Clips Hair Designs with his wife and daughter, said his workers heard nothing and were only alerted to the robbery when they saw a paramedic run past the storefront.
"It's a terrible thing," Young said. "It's scary, especially with the day-care center right across the street."
Still, he said, Thursday's robbery doesn't make him feel any less safe at his own store.
"It's not something you can live in fear of," he said. "You do what you can to be safe."
Must prepare: Terry and Dean Dobbins own and run clothing boutique T.S. Dobbins, a few doors away from White's business.
"We all felt pretty safe here," Terry Dobbins said, and added she still feels safe. Her business has a security system, she said.
"As one police officer told me, you have to be prepared (to be targeted by criminals)," she said.
She said she and her husband moved their store to its current location in 1998 and haven't had a problem. At its previous location, the boutique was burglarized twice, she said.
Video sought: Chief Gross said investigators are looking to review surveillance footage from the area. Several of the store owners in St. Charles Way Center said they have working surveillance camera systems.
Late Thursday afternoon, York Area Regional Sgt. Jeffrey Dunbar said investigators are "following up on some leads."
Anyone with information about the robbery can call York Area Regional Police at 741-1259. Anyone who sees the suspected getaway car should call 911 immediately, police said.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.