Tifton Gazette

Local News

November 23, 2012

TPD investigating armed robberies

Store clerk shot in chest at one robbery

TIFTON — The Tifton Police Department wants to make the public aware of two recent armed robberies that occurred in the area.

Lt. Lee Dunston with the Criminal Investigations Division at the TPD stated in an e-mail that at approximately 9:35 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 15, an armed robbery was reported at Goff Street Convenience Store, located at 1005 E. 12th St.

According to Dunston, three black males (two of them armed with handguns) wearing black clothing and with bandanas over their faces entered the store and robbed the clerk. He stated that there were two other people in the store as well. The suspects made off with an undisclosed amount of cash. They left the store on foot, but it is believed they may have had a vehicle nearby, he explained.

Also, Dunston said at approximately 8:14 p.m. Wednesday, an armed robbery and shooting was reported at Jay’s Food Mart, located at 10 Sandra Drive. He stated that again, there were three black males, two of which had handguns. He explained that the first suspect came into the store, immediately jumped onto the counter and shot the female clerk one time in the chest. He then ran out of the store.

Dunston said the male clerk came out of a back room and attempted to pursue the suspect. He was confronted at the door of the store by the two other suspects. He was forced back inside the store at gunpoint and robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspects then fled on foot in a northerly direction, Dunston said. In this case, he stated that the suspects all had what appears to have been T-shirts wrapped around their faces during the robbery. He added that again, it is believed they may have had a vehicle waiting nearby to make their getaway.

Dunston said the female clerk was transported by Emergency Medical Services to Tift Regional Hospital. He told The Gazette Friday that the last he heard, the clerk is doing okay. She’s in stable condition; her injury does not appear to be life threatening.

Dunston stated, “This incident is especially disturbing because the woman was not even given a chance to cooperate. She was shot before she even realized someone had entered the store.”

He said it is believed that the two robberies may be related and the TPD is asking that anyone with information on either of the robberies contact the Criminal Investigations Division at 382-3132.

He urged that clerks working at convenience stores have to be alert and hyperaware of their surroundings, such as someone suspiciously milling around in the store looking for cameras, taking a long time to purchase an item, etc. It is believed that the suspects of the two robberies knew the stores.

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