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CRIME Police continue search for gas station robbers



Published: Tue, July 19, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Cash wasn't enough for one of the robbers. He wanted rolled coins as well.

By KATIE LIBECCO

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

AUSTINTOWN -- Police are looking for two men who robbed the McQuaid's gas station at 702 N. Meridian Road, threatened an employee with a gun and fled into the woods after being chased by another.

At about 6:30 a.m. Saturday, a McQuaid's employee sitting outside on a break saw two young men wearing black clothing arrive in a blue 1988 Pontiac Bonneville. The passenger had black cloth around his face.

The employee told police that it appeared that the men waited for the other customers to leave the store.

The passenger then got out of the car, grabbed the employee by her hair, put a small gun to her head and pulled her into the store.

The station manager was in the office reviewing surveillance tapes from the previous night. When she heard the employee scream, she attempted to close the door, but the man threatened to shoot, and she let him into the office.

The manager gave the man a bag of money. When he insisted that he receive more, she also gave him several rolls of coins.

He also ordered the manager to give him the surveillance tape, which did not contain footage of the robbery.

Following the men

Another employee who was in her car during the robbery followed the men when she saw them leave the gas station in a car. She reported that the robbers' car traveled north on Meridian Road, east on Oregon Avenue, south on Bruno Avenue and east onto Vestal Road.

The two men pulled into a parking lot on Vestal Road, where they abandoned the car. They took the cash and surveillance tape with them, but left the rolls of coins in the car.

A police canine unit arrived and located the abandoned vehicle, which was towed to the police department's garage as evidence. The canine unit and officers were unable to track the robbers.

The owner of the car did not notice that it was missing until he was notified by the police. Police reports indicate the car's steering column was damaged.




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