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Man Charged For Allegedly Making Up Reported Armed Robbery In State College

State College police on Thursday accused a bus station employee of fabricating a reported armed robbery on Halloween.

Brooks Shay, 40, was charged with two misdemeanors after police said he falsely reported the robbery at about 2:50 p.m. on October 31. He allegedly told police he was working behind the teller desk at the bus station, 152 N. Atherton Street, when a man he described as Black and wearing a face mask struck him with a pistol and knocked him to the ground.

He claimed the man stole teller bags with cash from the work area then fled from the building and disappeared toward a tree line adjacent to the parking lot, according to a criminal complaint.

Shay, of Bellefonte, was taken to Mount Nittany Medical Center for what police said at the time were non-life-threatening injuries.

A detective who reviewed video footage from surrounding buildings that showed all sides of the bus station wrote that from two hours before the reported incident until police arrived no one was seen running from the bus station.

The detective, however, did see a car pull into the parking lot shortly before Shay called police, according to the complaint. About 10 minutes before Shay made the report, another man left the bus station building carrying a bag and walked to the car. The vehicle was then seen leaving the parking lot.

After police issued a release with a photo of the vehicle to seek the public’s help in identifying the owner, Shay contacted a detective to say the vehicle was his and that he knew the man who was driving it, according to the complaint.

The other man allegedly told investigators that he drove the car to the bus station to bring Shay his lunch.

Police estimated that $620 was stolen from the bus station. A theft charge against the other man was filed then withdrawn earlier this week.

Because of the bus terminal’s proximity to campus, Penn State issued emergency alerts as required by the federal Clery Act for warning about certain crimes that occur on or adjacent to campus. The first advised residents to “Seek shelter. Secure doors. Be silent. Be still.” The second alert was issued a half hour later and stated “Armed Robbery suspect still at large, remain vigilant and avoid the area of 152 North Atherton Street.

Shay is charged with one count each of false alarm to an agency of public safety and false reports to police.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 19.

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About the Author

Geoff Rushton (

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.

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