Police in Cumru Township are on the lookout for four men in connection with a brazen holdup.
The robbery happened Monday night at the Family Dollar on Lancaster Avenue.
After two employees closed the store at 9 p.m., an armed man emerged from the stock room, fired a shot in the air and demanded money.
Cumru Township police arrived at the Family Dollar at 508 E. Lancaster Ave. around 9:30 p.m. to find two distraught employees.
"The two employees were very upset. We had an assistant manager and a cashier. They had been pretty much held for about 15-plus minutes with one being held motionless on the floor; the other individual, under a lot of stress, trying to open the safe," said Sgt. George Kuriger Jr., Cumru Twp. Police Dept.
Four men entered the store around 8:30, said police, adding that three of the four -- described as persons of interest in the case -- bought items and left.
The fourth man, described as a Hispanic male with facial hair, wearing glasses and a dark curly wig, however, went into the stock room.
After the employees closed up shop, police said that man emerged wearing a mask, fired a shot into the air and forced the store manager to open the safe and give him an undisclosed amount of money.
Community members said they are shocked to hear of the holdup.
"I frequent there sometimes with my mother and stuff. I am surprised," said Cirilo Rivera, of Reading.
People said they, too, would have been distraught if they were in the store.
"Startled and scared I guess. If you are seeing someone come out of your stock room all of a sudden in the middle of the night and you are by yourself or two people there, yea it would be a little surprising," said Joe Mackiewicz, of Reading.
Police said they are hoping the public will be able to help them identify these men.
"Anyone who actually know these individuals should be able to identify them. That would assist us in furthering the investigation and avoiding any further potential incidents with these individuals," said Kuriger.
Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the Cumru Twp. Police Dept. at 610-777-9595 or Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for a tip to Crime Alert that leads to an arrest.