Woman escapes three men after attempted robbery

Thursday, April 7, 2011 | 4:03 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A woman was held at gunpoint during an attempted robbery Wednesday afternoon at an apartment building in the 700 block of Demaret Drive.

The 25-year-old woman from Chicago reported the attempted robbery at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Detective Tom O'Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff's Department, said. He said she was in Columbia to buy an unspecified item.

O'Sullivan said the woman met two males in a parking lot of a convenience store in Lake of the Woods. The three got into her silver-gray Hyundai Elantra rental car and drove to the apartment on Demaret Drive, where the transaction was to take place, he said.

When the two men and the woman arrived at the apartment building, they were met by a third male in the common area of the building, where the three men then tried to rob the woman at gunpoint, O'Sullivan said. Discovering she did not have any cash, the three men drove her in her rental car to an ATM at Landmark Bank in Lake of the Woods, he said.

O'Sullivan said the three men got back into the car with the woman and left the bank, at which time the woman was able to escape the car as it was coming to a stop. The men drove away in her rental car, he said.

O'Sullivan said the woman did not sustain any injuries. He said the Sheriff's Department is still investigating all the details of the incident.

O'Sullivan said the Sheriff's Department is "certainly exploring the possibility" that the incident is drug relatedHe said, however, he could not give further information regarding the unspecified item the woman was trying to buy. 

"People come through Columbia all the time, and just because there are drugs in their hometown, doesn't mean they participate in drugs in their hometown," O'Sullivan said.

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