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Police think Thursday morning Petro Mart robberies might be related

Thursday, December 13, 2012 | 2:47 p.m. CST; updated 3:16 p.m. CST, Thursday, December 13, 2012
A still image from a surveillance video shows a suspect in the robbery that occurred early Thursday morning at the Petro Mart on St. Charles Road. Police are still looking for the suspect.

COLUMBIA —Two armed robberies at different Petro Marts occurred early Thursday morning, and police think they might be related.

Police responded to the first armed robbery at 3:37 a.m. at the Petro Mart at 1004 N. Stadium Blvd. A man revealed a handgun and was given an undisclosed amount of money before leaving on foot, according to a news release from the Columbia Police Department.

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Police described the suspect as 5 feet 9 inches tall and 180 pounds with no facial hair. He was wearing a light-colored stocking cap and brown work gloves, according to the release.

Police responded to a second armed robbery at 4:58 a.m. at the Petro Mart at 5612 St. Charles Road. Two men entered the store, and one showed a handgun and asked for money from the clerk while the other stood at the entrance. The first man was given an undisclosed amount of money, and both left the store on foot, according to the release.

The first suspect is described as a man who is taller than 6 feet with a thin build. He was wearing a black jacket, a light-colored stocking cap and brown work gloves and had dark clothing covering his face, according to the release.

The second suspect is described as a man who is shorter than 6 feet with a medium build. He was wearing a black jacket, according to the release.

There's a strong possibility that the two robberies are related, said Sgt. Joe Bernhard of the Police Department. The description of the suspect in the first robbery sounds similar to the description of the first suspect in the second, he said. 

Bernhard said it is unusual for two robberies to happen in one night. People who rob convenience stores tend to rob more than one because they can't get much money from one convenience store, he said, but the second robbery is more likely to happen later in the week. 

No one was injured in either robbery.

Supervising editor is Alison Matas.


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