The Starkville Police Department is searching for a man who used a metal pipe to rob the Down the Hatch convenience store this weekend on Russell Street.
The incident occurred just after 4:20 p.m. Saturday when a light-skinned black male entered the store at the corner of Russell Street and Gillespie Street with the hood on his sweatshirt pulled tight to conceal his identity, Starkville Police Department Capt. Jimmie Thomas said this morning. The suspect then took an approximately 18-inch pipe out from under his sweatshirt and pants, grabbed the male cashier by the back of the collar and swiped a cigar to open the register, Thomas said. The robber also removed money from an unlocked safe, Thomas said. The clerk was not injured.
After taking an undetermined amount of money, the robber fled north on foot, Thomas said. The man is described as approximately 6 feet tall and 165 pounds. Along with the hooded sweatshirt, he wore dark pants and brown gloves.
“We”re following up on some leads now and we”re trying to apprehend him,” Thomas said.
Saturday”s incident was the second robbery at Down the Hatch in the last month. On Nov. 27 at approximately 1:33 p.m. two men approached Down the Hatch from the south side of the building while a clerk stood outside. One of the men covered his face with a garbage bag while the other covered his face with a backpack, so the clerk became suspicious and ran across the street to call 911, according to Starkville police. The suspects took an undetermined amount of money and fled on foot, but were apprehended earlier this month when police were investigating an armed robbery at New Lite Grocery on Highway 12 West.
On Dec. 5, two men, one of whom was armed with a shotgun, entered New Lite Grocery and demanded cash. The men wore bags over their heads to conceal their identities, police said.
Shortly thereafter, a vehicle was stopped nearby and three suspects were arrested. A fourth suspect was arrested two days later.
For the New Lite Grocery incident, police charged with armed robbery 20-year-old Sha”kil Harris, of 513 Aztec Drive, 19-year-old Henry Lee Neal, of 114 Northside Drive, and brothers Darius Lee Kennard Hill, 16, and Derrick Lewis Hill, 15, both of 104 Garrard Road E., Apt. 26.
The group also confessed to and were charged with armed robbery for the Nov. 27 incident at Down the Hatch, Thomas said.
Police hope to soon release security camera images of the suspect in Saturday”s Down the Hatch robbery. Anyone with information can call the Starkville Police Department at 662-323-4131 or Golden Triangle Crime Stoppers at 1-800-530-7151.