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Robbery suspect at large

Courtney Astolfi • Feb 28, 2014 at 1:24 PM

A man robbed the Venice Road Dollar General Thursday evening, making off with an undisclosed amount of cash and eluding arrest.

The still-unidentified suspect arrived at the store just before 6 p.m. and approached the counter. He slid a note to the cashier and demanded cash, Sandusky police detective Dana Newell said.

Newell did not say exactly what was written on the note, but the man made his intentions “very clear”

Throughout the robber’s interaction with the employee, the man never spoke a word and kept one of his hands tucked out of sight in his jacket pocket. The clerk later told police she’d spotted an object poking out of the pocket, pointed in her direction, Newell said.

It’s unknown if the suspect was indeed armed.

After the clerk handed over the haul, the suspect walked outside, hopped in a dark-colored SUV and took off westbound down Venice Road, Newell said.

Sandusky officers rushed to the scene — some tasked with interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence, others searching the area.

“We canvassed the immediate area and began widening our perimeter because that is an area (in which) he could get a good distance away real quick,” Newell said.

Police cruisers zipped down neighboring streets and through nearby mobile home parks. Some cruisers headed south on Ohio 101, while others stopped a pair of people on Superior Street and quickly learned they were not involved.

The man may not have been operating alone.

“There’s a good possibility somebody else was involved” Newell said.

Dollar General captured clear surveillance footage, leaving investigators with ample information on the suspect’s appearance. He is described as a white man with facial hair, wearing a tan Carhartt coat, lighter tan Carhartt-type pants and a camouflage hat.

“We got some pretty good pictures of him. That’s what we’re working on right now, trying to ID him,” Newell said. “We’re brainstorming through some people we know and seeing what matches up”

In searching the area, officers discovered the same man entered a Venice Road gas station shortly before the robbery.

“We believe he possibly went to another business before he robbed the dollar store, like he was planning on doing another (robbery) before, then changed his mind” Newell said.

Officers also collected evidence at the scene, although Newell declined to comment on what exactly was found.

The clerk and multiple customers also gave police information on what they saw, Newell said.

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