By BRIAN HAWKINS
Police detectives are searching for two suspects in the afternoon robbery of an east Starkville convenience store on Saturday.
The robbery was reported at 1:33 p.m. Saturday at the Down the Hatch Deli/BP convenience store at 405 Russell St. across from the Cotton Crossing shopping center.
According to Starkville Police Department reports, the male clerk was standing outside the store’s entrance and saw the two male suspects approaching from the south end of the building, which faces Gillespie Street.
The clerk reported seeing one of the suspects carrying a backpack and the other suspect was carrying a garbage bag. Both used the bags to conceal their faces, the clerk told police.
A female witness corroborated the clerk’s description, said SPD Sgt. Chadd Garnett on Monday.
Believing the two men were there to rob the store, the clerk ran from the store on foot and called E-911 operators, police reports state.
The clerk’s suspicions proved correct. The two suspects entered the store and took an unspecified amount of cash before fleeing south from the store on foot.
One suspect was described as a heavyset male wearing a dark plaid shirt, dark jeans and white shoes. The second suspect was described as a taller male with a slim build wearing a light-colored hooded sweatshirt, light jeans and dark shoes.
The exact height, approximate ages and ethnicities of the two suspects were still under investigation, and it is not known whether the two suspects may have been armed, said Garnett.
“We do have security video footage of the robbery,” said Garnett, adding that still photos of the suspects were being prepared from the video footage and would be made public as soon as possible.
Saturday’s incident marked the second robbery at the Down the Hatch Deli/BP store has been robbed in just over two years.
In September 2008, two teenagers robbed the store, shoving the female clerk away from the cash register and taking the cash inside. They were arrested a few months later and pleaded guilty to the charges in Oktibbeha County Circuit Court in November 2009.
Saturday’s robbery is the first robbery of any store in Starkville since late March, when the Sprint Mart/Shell store on Highway 12 at South Jackson Street was held up by a gun-wielding suspect.
Anyone with information about the Down the Hatch Deli/BP robbery is encouraged to call Garnett at the Police Department at 323-4131 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.
All Crime Stoppers tips are confidential and could result in a reward of up to $1,000 for the caller if the tip leads to an arrest in this case.