Armed robbery occurs at gas station

Published 9:04 pm Monday, December 18, 2017

The LaGrange Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred at the Marathon’s convenience store on Lafayette Parkway on Friday around 9:30 p.m. According to a press release from the LPD, two suspects entered the store brandishing firearms and demanded money.

A store employee said the suspects left with an undisclosed amount of currency and fled on foot.

The LPD does not believe the most recent armed robbery is connected with ones that occurred at the CharterBank on West Point Road around 2 p.m. and the BB&T Bank on Broad Street before 10:30 p.m.

“At this point, we don’t have any real significant evidence that links the robberies,” LaGrange Police Lt. Dale Strickland said. “The last one that occurred on Lafayette Parkway, there were two suspects at the Marathon (gas station) there. The one that occurred at BB&T, where the individual was robbed making a night deposit, there was one individual seen there. The suspects are completely covering their face and head, in some cases hands. Of course, the bank robbery the Troup County Sheriff’s Office is working out off of West Point Road, there was individual who entered the bank, and there was possibly another person in the car outside. The two that we had in town there was no vehicle associated, both of those individuals left and approached on foot, so at this point there’s no solid evidence that we are aware of that would link those.”

Strickland said there have been 59 robberies in LaGrange this year, but he said most of those are not armed robberies.

“We have had a number of robberies during the holiday season in the past. Most of those robberies occur though in the form of robbery by snatching where an individual may be shopping and putting groceries or whatever they’ve purchased into the cars, and folks run along and snatch purses and things of that nature,” Strickland said. “We have seen those in the past, not necessarily a major increase in armed robberies during the season, but some increased robberies based on those type.”

Strickland said residents should be aware of their surroundings, but should still be comfortable going to their bank.

“It’s not like even though we’ve had several. Transactions are occurring without [armed robberies] happening,” he said. “Just make sure people are aware of [their] surroundings before they make any transactions so to speak.”

Awareness is important in preventing robberies as is recognizing suspicious behavior, according to Strickland.

“If there are people there that are obviously not there for a legitimate reason or just hanging around watching you, if you’re [near] your car, just get in your car and shut the door. If the person continues to hang around and look suspicious, call the police. They can check them out,” he said. “Again, just being aware of your surroundings, suspicious activities, suspicious people and calling police to check that suspicion out.”

As for the robbery that occurred Thursday night where the victims were in a car, Strickland said to be cautious. If you’re making a night deposit for work, like the victims, call 911 and have officers present, Strickland said.

“The person responsible for that crime appeared to be looming, waiting around in a dark spot there at the bank,” Strickland said. “Watching those surroundings, not necessary immediately pulling up if you’re making a deposit, not necessarily pulling up and immediately rolling the window down. Maybe pull up and sit and watch for a few minutes to see if there’s anything that may take place that would be out of the ordinary. Before you were to make the deposit, I would always have someone with you.”