Ohio man invents school shooter threat so he can rob a bank, Pennsylvania cops say

An Ohio man wanted to rob a bank in Pennsylvania, so he created a rather alarming diversion, police say.

On Tuesday morning, a man later identified as Luke Dell, 35, donned an eerily realistic mask and walked into a Bob Evans restaurant in North Huntingdon Township, roughly 20 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, police said in a news release. He slipped an employee a note.

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Screengrab: KDKA

The note said there were bombs and active shooter threats at two nearby high schools, prompting employees to contact police, officials say. Police notified the Norwin and Jeanette school districts.

When officers arrived at Bob Evans, they were given a photo of the man as well as the make, model and license plate of the car in which he left — a black Dodge Charger, police say. The license plates, however, were registered to a KIA.

As an officer headed to the address associated with the KIA, he caught sight of the Charger and pulled it over, police say. That’s when the officer identified Dell, who was still wearing the mask.

“The mask was a very high-quality mask, made him look like he was in his late 60’s, early 70’s when in fact he was a 35-year-old male,” police chief Robert Rizzo told KDKA.

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Police in Pennsylvania say an Ohio man donned this realistic mask as he tried to distract police from a robbery. Screengrab: KDKA

Dell told the officer he had passed the note to the Bob Evans employee inhopes of distracting officers so he could rob an area bank, police say.

Dell was arrested and charged with a number of offenses including making terroristic threats, causing or risking catastrophe, reckless threat to use weapon of mass destruction and theft, police say.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.