By Karen Blacklege

The Danville News

DANVILLE — A preliminary hearing for a Philadelphia man charged in an attempted robbery of a Danville jewelry store has been continued.

The hearing for Eric J. Smith, 38, had been set for today before Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder.

His hearing has been rescheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sept. 9, according to an office spokeswoman.

Smith allegedly attempted to rob Ryan's Jewelers on Mill Street July 14 by pepper spraying and using a stun gun on two employees and a customer.

Smith tied up the customer and fled when police arrived. He left behind a bag filled with more than $160,000 in jewelry, Danville police said.

A female accomplice remains at large.

Smith is in the county prison for failure to post $1 million bail.

This was the first armed robbery in Danville in 15 years. The last armed robbery occurred in the early 1990s at Uni-Mart, according to police.

Smith has a history of theft and deception charges and related offenses from Delaware County and Philadelphia County. Court records show he was first charged with robbery as a teen in 1988 and has been sentenced at least twice to jail terms.

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