HONESDALE—Police arrested Rachel Byrd, 26, of Carbondale, Monday afternoon for the robbery of the Uni-Mart Exxon gas station in Waymart which occurred Sunday, May 6 around 4:20 a.m.
Held in Wayne County jail, Byrd's bail was set at $300,000.
According to court papers, Byrd is accused of assaulting the store clerk and stealing $562 from the cash register and unlocked floor safe.
She is expected to appear in Central Court at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16.
After Byrd's arraignment before Magisterial District Judge Linus Myers, Wayne County District Attorney Pat Robinson stated in a release, “The Pennsylvania State Police did a tremendous job in investigating this robbery.
“The citizens of Wayne County were also very instrumental in providing numerous 'tips' which resulted in this arrest.
“Finally, the Carbondale Police Department did their job and made a successful arrest of Byrd.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Byrd was in the store getting coffee shortly before the incident occurred.
Byrd lured the adult male clerk outside with her by reporting a dead animal on the hood of his car.
After investigating the claim and finding nothing, the two returned to the store.
As the clerk approached the counter, he was struck on the back of the head by a collapsable metal baton.
The affidavit states the assault left a three-inch, bloody laceration on the right side of his head.
Additionally, he “...had some difficulty speaking and initially recalling the incident, indicating a possible concussion.”
According to the affidavit, the clerk “...retreated further into the store to the Subway Restaurant counter where the Defendant flashed what appeared to be a handgun in her waistband and stated something to the effect of, 'This is a real [expletive] gun and I really know how to [expletive] use it!'”
Court papers further state Byrd pulled out black duct tape she was carrying and secured the clerk's hands together, forcing him to kneel on the floor by the counter.
Byrd took the clerk's phone and proceeded to lock the exit.
There, she met an adult female customer who had been in the bathroom that whole time and was now trying to leave.
Court papers state the customer drove a bus that had broken down in the gas station parking lot.
The customer came in to use the bathroom, she told police she “...initially assumed the Defendant was a store employee who was locking the door...”
Byrd replied she was robbing the store and demanded the customer's phone.
When the customer relayed she didn't have one, Byrd patted her down to make sure before allowing her to leave and telling her not to call the police.
The customer returned to the bus and called 9-1-1 after the defendant fled out of the back of the store and into the woods a few minutes later, dropping the clerk's phone in the parking lot, sates the affidavit.
The report notes numerous calls came in the next day identifying Byrd as the culprit.
“The calls came from former coworkers and other acquaintances. Byrd reportedly worked at this same store until March of this year,” court papers state.
The affidavit further notes Byrd's boyfriend, Nicholas Mata, was being held in the Wayne County Correctional Facility when the robbery took place.
Byrd texted Mata's mother, “...telling her that she had obtained bail bond money and was going to retrieve Mata from Wayne County Prison,” court papers state.
The mother identified Byrd's picture on the news reports of the robbery.
The mother later called the prison and confirmed her son was released on may 6.
Court papers state he was released on $500 bond.
The mother learned Byrd and Mata were at a residence in Carbondale.
She called state police and relayed all her information.