GOSHEN — Two people who were arrested in connection with two cigarette store robberies appeared for their initial hearing Thursday, Feb. 7, in Elkhart Circuit Court.
Abigail Pifer, 19, and Nicholas Chaplin, 24, both of 1716 Mediterranean Drive, are charged with robbery while armed with a deadly weapon, a Class B felony. They each face up to 20 years in prison. Pifer is booked at the Elkhart County Jail on a $75,000 bond, while Chaplin is booked on a $100,000 bond. The judge ordered a bond report to see if their bond can be reduced.
Pifer and Chaplin were arrested Friday, Feb. 1, following an investigation by the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department. The two were arrested in connection to a Jan. 25 robbery at Elkhart Cigarette Outlet, 51505 S.R. 19, and then later on the same day at Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco, 51523 S.R. 19.
Employees at both stores said the suspects, two men and a women, were seen with a hatchet type of weapon, according to a press release from the sheriff’s department.
A witness identified the two suspects as Pifer and Chaplin from photographs that were obtained from surveillance cameras at both stores, according to the probable cause affidavit for their cases. During an examination of Pifer’s and Chaplin’s vehicle, police found items that fit the descriptions given by employees of the items that were taken during the robberies.
Their trial date was scheduled for April 22.