Police: Spring Grove-area robber tried to carjack woman, but she hit the gas instead
Several women helped investigators identify two men now accused in the armed robbery of a Spring Grove-area dollar store last month, police said — including one who nearly got carjacked at gunpoint for her trouble.
"She gave us great information and good leads," Northern York County Regional Deputy Chief Dave Lash said of the eyewitness, who decided to follow the robber in her pickup truck. The York Dispatch is withholding her name at the request of police, who expressed concern for her safety.
The mother and a former girlfriend of David Thomas Schweiger also separately told police he was involved in the robbery, according to charging documents.
A fourth woman told police that Schweiger borrowed her car that day but never told her he intended to use it to commit a robbery.
Charging documents filed by Northern Regional Police state that at 4:53 p.m. Oct. 31, Schweiger robbed the Dollar General store at 2100 Thistle Hill Drive in Jackson Township by pointing a revolver at the cashier. He was wearing a bandanna over the lower half of his face, police said.
After getting $223, Schweiger fled the store, police said, which was when the woman who was in the store and witnessed the robbery decided to drive around and see if she could spot the robber and gather information for police, according to Lash.
She hopped into her pickup truck and drove around the immediate area, he said.
"She turned the corner and there he was with a gun," Lash said.
Charging documents state she pulled into an alley across the street from the store, in the direction Schweiger had run.
"The defendant was in front of (her) vehicle and pointed the firearm at her," documents state.
That's when Schweiger ordered her out of her vehicle, police allege.
She hit the gas: Instead of complying, the witness accelerated toward Schweiger and struck him, documents state. Lash said it was likely just a glancing blow.
Schweiger then ran to his borrowed getaway car, where accomplice Jeffrey "J.R." Dixon Jr. was waiting, charging documents allege. Schweiger told Dixon a woman in a pickup truck was following them and the two took off, heading toward Hanover, police said.
The witness in the pickup truck was able to follow them for a bit, but she lost them in the area of Lakeview Drive near Pahagaco Road, Lash said, adding that the woman was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher the entire time.
Investigators spoke with Schweiger's mother and a woman with whom he was involved for five years. The former girlfriend said Schweiger told her he and Dixon committed the robbery, and Schweiger's mother said the two came to her home afterward and parked the getaway vehicle in her driveway, according to charging documents.
Schweiger, 28, of Hanover, has not yet been arraigned on his charges of robbery, attempted carjacking and receiving stolen property. He is currently in the Adams County jail, police said.
Dixon, 31, of Hanover, has not yet been arraigned on his charge of conspiracy to commit robbery for his alleged role as getaway driver. He remains in York County Prison in a kidnapping case.
Russian roulette: Dixon is accused of kidnapping, pistol-whipping and terrorizing a Hanover man he didn't know.
The victim suffered a concussion, broken nose, memory loss and numerous bruises to his head and face, according to Hanover Police.
During the kidnapping the victim was forced to get into a tub, at which point Dixon started spinning the cylinder of a revolver and playing Russian roulette with the victim by pointing his gun at the man's head and pulling the trigger after each spin of the cylinder, charging documents allege.
The victim told police he left his Hanover home about 3:30 a.m. Nov. 8 and realized he was being followed by a man with a leashed dog who began chasing him, according to charging documents.
The victim told officers he started running away but blacked out, police said. When he awoke he was in a strange apartment where Dixon — whom he'd never met — was holding him at gunpoint, documents state. Two accomplices were there as well, police said, a man and a woman.
Victim handed over cash: The gunman told the victim he owed the woman $350, but the victim told police he didn't know the woman and didn't owe her money, according to charging documents.
That's when he was made the target of a game of Russian roulette, police allege.
The victim agreed to get money from an ATM machine "in an effort to end the assault," documents state.
He was driven to a convenience store and ordered to withdraw $450, which the kidnappers took, police said.
After being held against his will for between two and four hours, he was dropped off near his home by the kidnappers, according to police, who said the victim was then treated for his injuries at York Hospital.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.