Two area gas stations robbed at gunpoint

Shawano Leader/April 12, 2009

The Shawano County Sheriff's Department and the Shawano Police Department are both searching for suspects involved in two armed robberies in the area.

On Saturday night, just before 9:30 p.m., Shawano Police were called to the People's Express gas station on Main Street in Shawano for a man who showed the clerk a gun. After the robbery he ran behind the gas station.

Officers, as of 10 p.m., were searching the nearby area with dogs. No other information was available by deadline.

Late night Friday sheriff's deputies were called to an armed robbery at a Cecil convenience store.

The Sheriff's Department received a call at 11:30 p.m. reporting the robbery at Lakeside Citgo gas station, 205 N. Warrington St., Cecil.

The robber brandished a handgun toward the store clerk on duty when she came over to the counter to wait on him, said store manager Jason Welsing.

"He told her to give him all the money from the till. She asked him if it was a joke and he said no," Welsing said.

Once the clerk gave the armed robber the money, the suspect placed the cash in his pocket and then demanded more, Welsing added.

The robber demanded the clerk lay down on the floor and count to a certain number and said he would hurt her if she moved. The suspect then fled the scene without harming the clerk.

"We got footage of the whole thing on the security camera," Welsing said.

Once the clerk was certain the gunman had left the premises, she pressed the panic button which summoned sheriff's deputies.

Deputies arrived at the scene and immediately requested back-up from the department's K-9 unit, but determined the suspect had fled.

The clerk reported the suspect had displayed a weapon and fled with an undetermined amount of cash. The male suspect is described as 5-foot-4 with a thin mustache. He was wearing a dark hat, black sweatshirt with red lettering, dark sunglasses and shorts.

"The way it looked on the camera was like he did something like this every day of his life. He didn't seem nervous," Welsing said.

Welsing said this is the first time Lakeside Citgo has experienced an armed robbery in his 19 years in the business and praised the clerk.

"My hat's really off to my employee with the way she handled it based on what she was dealing with," Welsing said, adding that the clerk plans to return to work Sunday and will close Sunday night, but he would have another employee with her.

It was not known by deadline if the two robberies were related.

Both incidents remain under investigation.

Anyone with information can call the Shawano County Sheriff's Department at 715-526-3111. Welsing hopes authorities catch the suspect quickly.

"It's really cowardly for someone to do something like that and to point a gun at a 50-year-old lady who's not in a top-of-the-line job in the world and make threats like he did. Hopefully he's going to pay the price for his actions."

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