Robbery suspect at large

Man makes off with unspecified amount of cash
Courtney Astolfi
Feb 28, 2014


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.


JMOP's picture

General Dollar and Family Dollar stores are becoming the places to avoid. What attracts criminals to these stores?

Stop It

Cheap surveillance. It's a dollar store?


JMOP, This doesn't seem like is was a planned out robbery. He was going to rob the Hy-miler, but it was to busy. from what it sounds like. So it really didn't matter what name was on the building, in this case. To answer your question, "What attracks criminals to these stores?"(sp.) Dollar General builds and opens their stores in low income, below poverty stricken areas. Also a good reason why the west side is a target is because, as stated in the article, the criminals can "he could get a good distance away real quick". This guy was just looking for a wad of cash quickly. It's unfortunate for that store but mostly for the cashier. I hope the surveillance helps with identifying the man. My question is, why not put the surveillance online, so that the community can help with getting this guy off the streets sooner rather than later?

JMOP's picture

Thank you, and I corrected. :)


Not sure what spelling you are correcting? Attracts is spelled correctly? But as for low income, below poverty level areas is a load of crap. So all of Clyde is low income? All of Bellevue? All of Monroeville? All of Gibsonburg? They put these stores in areas where the BIG BOX stores refuse to go. Not all of these stores are in poverty stricken areas.

Stop It



Also, shopping at a Dollar General does not mean you are poor. It's smart shopping sometimes!


Yes it is spelled correctly, now, but it wasn't. I put the "sp" in there because, it was a direct and unchanged quote.(I should have used "sic" instead of "sp" but there was a misspelling at the time of the quote) I don't really know why I'm explaining myself to you. Especially, when the person that I quoted, didn't have an issue with it. Now to the low income, below poverty level comment that I made, was because it was mentioned in a television program about the overwhelming growth of new Dollar General stores being built nationally. I don't remember if it was the CEO,COO or the CMO, but one of them stated that, when they did research on where to build NEW stores that that was one of the criteria, that they took into account. I was not trying to disrespect any certain town or neighborhood by any means. I was simply sharing factual information,(not loads of crap) that I heard from the horses mouth. Nothing more, nothing less. ladydye_5, to answer your question, I first need to know, compared to where?

Brick Hamland

Dollar Stores have more single dollar bills then other stores. You can rob them and then go right to the Tea House to dispense the money... I am not a detective but i did stay at a holiday inn express 3 months ago


Just heard on the scanner that this guy just robbed Dollar General again about 10 minutes ago. Good news THEY GOT HIM. HE WAS JUST ARRESTED. Great job Sandusky Police.


Let's not forget that there is a halfway house on Superior St. Jus sayin'!

Truth or Dare

Let's not forget the Homeless Shelter relocated on Superior, as well a home for the mentally ill/disabled right across the street from the Hy-Miler and all located within a little more than a city block from one another. Not to say that the individual responsible for the robbery is a resident of any, let alone the city. Since this is becoming fairly common on the west end, just ask those working at the Hy-Miler, I'm hoping none of the robbers get violent and someone needs EMS pronto, as it'll be a matter of a few more minutes before they'll arrive. Hoping for a newsflash here that YouMustBeJoking is correct.


I think the reason that criminals target Dollar General and Family Dollar is because there are only 2 or 3 employees working there at any given time and one is the assistant manager who is either in the office or in the back unloading the truck. One cashier is usually all they have up front at a time and when not cashiering they're supposed to be putting stuff on the shelves. So it's easy to rob those stores. Newer ones might have surveillance. Not sure.


Why hasn't there been an update on the robberies yet? The man has been caught, and is in the Erie County jail, as I type. Mark Phillips, is his name, and trying to rob the same store, twice, in less than 24 hours, is (scratch that) WAS his game.