The man whose Thanksgiving Day gas station robbery briefly thrust the Bridgeville Police Department into international news headlines has been sentenced to prison.
Robert Leroy Watkins III, of Meadville, Pa., pleaded guilty to first degree robbery on May 1. He will serve 2-4 years in a state prison, followed by three years of probation, according to a post on the Bridgeville Police Department’s Facebook page.
“Thank you to all of the Facebook friends who assisted us in solving this crime and bringing Watkins to justice,” wrote police chief Chad King.
Bridgeville police have solved several crimes with the assistance of the department’s 5,000-plus Facebook followers. After the Thanksgiving Day robbery at the Railroad Street Gulf Station, King posted photos of Watkins, along with a warning directed at the suspect.
If one of his ‘friends’ would be kind enough to pass this on we’d appreciate it.
Note to Robert: you will probably be reading this post within a few hours after it is released. The same way you did with the original armed robbery post, as you were holed up, hiding, in that apartment with people that you thought were your friends.
We have the video of you changing your clothes before, and after, the robbery. We have you stashing your clothes, your fingerprints were on the counter you slammed and, best of all, your hat is full of your DNA. You have the option to turn yourself in. Contact us as listed above. It’s only a matter of time before we find you. Make it easier on yourself now, because we WILL find you.
That post attracted media attention locally, nationally, and even overseas.
Shortly after, Watkins was arrested in his hometown of Meadville, Pa.