Investigators need your help to catch the man who robbed the Antelope Valley Kwik Shop at gunpoint Wednesday night.
“We’re hoping to speak to anyone who was around there,” Sheriff’s Cpl. Gary Sams said Friday morning. “We did a canvas of the area yesterday two times and nothing came from that.”
Deputies specifically are looking for another man who was at the gas station at the intersection of Highway 59 and Dove Road about five minutes before the robbery. That white man, who was wearing a ball cap and sleeveless shirt, is not a suspect in the case. Rather, deputies hope that he may have seen the robber or other clues that may help their investigation.
“Since he paid cash, we have no way to ID him,” Sams said. “We appreciate any info.”
Sams also said that anybody who was in the area of the store at about 9 p.m. Wednesday may have seen something that could help the investigation and may not know that what they saw could help catch the robber.
Investigators say the man who robbed the store is white, in his mid-20s, thin, about 5-feet, 8-inches tall and was wearing a dark sweatshirt and blue jeans. He appeared to be carrying a semi-automatic handgun that he pointed at clerks before demanding money, Sams said.
They are not sure whether he left the area in a car or on foot, because he went out the front door and went around the west side of the building that isn’t covered by security cameras. He was wearing a camouflage mesh over part of his face, so a good description of his facial features is not available.
The robbery was quick, and despite a quick response from nearby deputies, nobody saw the man leave the store.
He was only inside the store for about 60 seconds, and demanded cash from two clerks. The two workers quickly emptied the two cash registers on the counter and handed it to the man. He stuffed it into a plastic bag and left the store.
“The reason they rob these convenience stores is because they are convenient,” Sams said.
Sams said investigators are keeping open the possibility that the man could have been passing through. That’s why they sent out a flier to law enforcement agencies across the region on Friday, asking them to be on the lookout for the man.
The clerks in this instance, did exactly what they should have, Sheriff’s Capt. Roy Seeman said.
They handed over cash to the man. Then, as soon as he was outside, they locked the doors behind him and called 911.
“These clerks did exactly the right thing,” Seeman said.
Other convenience stores in Gillette should be on the lookout for anything suspicious and be prepared, he added.
“They should test their video systems and make sure cameras are focused on where customers come in and out,” Seeman said.
Locking the doors after a robber leaves is very important, he said, because it will keep them from coming back into a store if they are confronted by responding officers outside.