Police think two store robberies Monday night are related.
A man walked into the Harry Go Cherry Smoke Shop at 324 W. Harry shortly before 6:30 p.m. and confronted the clerk with a handgun, demanding money from the cash register, Lt. Doug Nolte said. The store is about halfway between Broadway and the Arkansas River.
Frightened by the threat, the clerk ran to a back room. The robber then left without any cash, Nolte said.
About 20 minutes later, an armed man entered the Tee Pee’s Smoke Shop at 1701 S. Seneca, pointed the gun at the clerk and demanded money. When she hesitated, the robber walked behind the counter, put the gun to the woman’s head and again demanded money.
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She gave him a small amount of cash from the register and he left.
“It was a similar style robbery,” Nolte said.
The clerk from the first attempted robbery told police the robber was a black man in his 20s who is between 6-foot and 6-foot-2. He wore a navy blue or black hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled over his head, a white hat or do-rag on his head, dark jeans and a large red T-shirt underneath the sweatshirt.
In the second robbery, the clerk told police the suspect was a black man in his 20s who is about 6-foot-2. He wore a blue polyester jacket, a dark bandanna on his head and a red undershirt.
In both robberies, Nolte said, the suspect was using a black handgun. In both cases, the robber appeared to leave the area on foot. Given the similarities, police are checking the possibility that the same man committed both crimes.
The two stores are less than a mile apart on opposite sides of the Arkansas River.