Stations report robbery, attempted robbery


STAFF REPORT

AUSTINTOWN — Township police believe a robbery and an attempted robbery that occurred less than 10 minutes apart at two area gas stations may be related.

Just after 8:30 p.m. Sunday, police arrived at Certified Oil on North Niles-Canfield Road on a report of an aggravated robbery.

The victim, an employee at the gas station, told police that at about 8:30 p.m., a man wearing a black, hooded sweat shirt, black pants, black shoes and a black baseball cap entered the store.

He walked to the counter with a 20-ounce Pepsi. When the employee began to ring him up, he said, “Put the money in the bag.”

The employee complied after the man asked several more times and said he had a gun and would shoot him if he didn’t do as he was ordered.

As the employee was filling the bags with money, another customer approached the counter. He said the man stepped aside and allowed him to ring out the customer without incident.

Before leaving the store and running south toward Arby’s, the man ordered the Certified Oil employee into the back storage room and threatened to kill him if caught.

The employee waited in the storage room for 30 seconds before pushing the panic button. The amount of money taken was not disclosed.

About 25 minutes later, just before 9 p.m. Sunday, police responded to a call from BP Uni-Mart on North Niles-Canfield Road — also on a report of attempted robbery.

An employee at the gas station told police that at about 8:20 p.m. a man matching the description of the person who robbed Certified Oil entered the store and said, “I need the money.”

She said he lifted his shirt to reveal a black handgun tucked in the waistband of his pants.

A moment later, she said he stated, “It’s just a joke,” and exited the store.

She said she didn’t see which way he fled.

Police said they’re hoping to gather leads using the man’s description and an image from a BP Uni-Mart security camera.

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