Police: Nipped robber nabbed through number


Dover's version of McGruff the Crime Dog apparently took less of a bite out of crime than originally thought — more like a nip, police said.

Northern York County Regional Police said when they arrested Michael Alan Sweeney on Wednesday for allegedly robbing a Dollar General store in Dover Township, they realized he had no puncture wounds on his arm.

That's where Diesel, a dog owned by township resident Timothy Luckenbaugh, chomped down on Sweeney as the man was fleeing from the Dollar General at 4911 Carlisle Road about 7:10 p.m. Sunday, Lt. David Lash said.

Diesel chased after Sweeney, latched onto the arm of his sweatshirt and ripped it as Sweeney ran through Luckenbaugh's yard, Lash said.

The robbery: According to charging documents, Sweeney bought a can of Pringles at the Dollar General, then placed what appeared to be a handgun on the counter, kept his hand on top of it and told the clerk he didn't want to hurt her. He demanded all the cash in the register and made off with $369.28, police allege.

He ran through Luckenbaugh's yard to get to a getaway vehicle, which was when the dog started chasing him, police said.

After having his sleeve nipped by Diesel, Sweeney broke free and jumped into the passenger side of a waiting van, parked in Luckenbaugh's driveway, documents state.

Luckenbaugh went over to the van and confronted Sweeney, who apologized for trespassing as he pointed his gun at the man, police said. Luckenbaugh slapped the gun out of Sweeney's hand, according to documents.

It broke apart when it hit the ground, which is when Luckenbaugh realized it was a toy pellet gun, police said.

The van then took off, heading north on Carlisle Road.

Spotted: A few days later, Dollar General employees alerted investigators that they believed the robber another person were seen "casing" the store on Wednesday to plan another robbery, and gave police a license plate number.

Police used the license plate number to track down Sweeney, who confessed he and a man named "Flip" committed the robbery, according to police.

"Sweeney advised he is addicted to heroin and that was the reason for committing the robbery," documents state.

Sweeney, 31, of 616 Linden Ave., remains in York County Prison on $40,000 bail, charged with robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.

Police said they are trying to identify and arrest "Flip."

Anyone with information about the driver's identity or whereabouts — or who has information about the robbery — is asked to call police at (717) 292-3647, or leave a tip online at

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at