Robber on the Loose


By Sam Jones
By Benjy Jeffords

SALINE COUNTY -- Two Harrisburg restaurants have been the scene of strong-arm robberies in recent days. The suspect went after female workers outside the store and stole bank bags they carried.

“I think it's one of those things where he has to be watching and waiting for somebody to come out, once he sees somebody with a bank bag he just goes and makes his move,” Police Chief Bob Smith said.

The first target was Ponderosa Sunday morning. A female worker who walked out with a bank bag was shoved to the ground and robbed.

“We're on his tail and we'll catch him eventually,” said Smith.

The next crime happened at the new Harrisburg Dominos, also on Commercial Drive. The man demanded a bank bag from a worker, before running away.

A police dog was brought in, but the scent disappeared nearby.

“We’re trying to get direction of travel and good old fashioned police work; knocking on doors and talking to people with vehicles that might match the description,” the chief explained.

Investigators have been checking nearby surveillance video, too. They believe the suspect fled in a white car after hitting Dominos. Both workers were shaken up, but otherwise unhurt.

“They were a little bit traumatized in the beginning as you can imagine, but they're both doing very well now,” said Smith.

He’s using all of the department's resources to get the robber off the streets, fearing the crimes could get worse.

“So far the threat of force or the use of force has equaled the resistance that he has got. If you resist more then he's gonna use more force,” warned Smith.

Rachel Watson works nearby at Speakeasy Liquors.

“Once we lock our doors I'm leery about going outside,” she admitted.

Watson thinks the store’s surveillance cameras can help deter robberies and she's grateful for other precautions they take.

“If I'm by myself it's usually gonna be another guy with me, just as a safety precaution, and that makes me comfortable regardless of whether I can take someone on or not,” Watson explained.

Police want businesses to be cautious. If you're taking a deposit outside, check the parking lot first. Call 911 if you have any concerns. 

Marion Regional
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