CAHOKIA — A clerk working late Wednesday night at the BP Amoco station on Camp Jackson Road was punched several times and robbed.
Police Lt. Dennis Plew said the 34-year-old victim sustained minor injuries and was treated at the hospital. The robbery and assault were at 11:39 p.m. Wednesday.
Plew said the suspect struck the clerk several times with his fists.
"He knocked her down and forced her to open the register. He fled from the business with an undetermined amount of money," Plew said.
Police were able to get a good picture of the bandit thanks to surveillance video at the store. Plew said police need the public's help to identify the suspect.
Kathleen Jacobs said she was on the phone talking to a friend when the man walked into the business.
"He came in and walked to the ATM machine. I was on the phone. He passed by the double walk-in doors and stopped by a sink near the doors. He said there was a spider in the sink and told me to come over and kill it. I told him that I didn't see a spider. He said he was scared of the spider. He kept telling me to come over to the sink and kill it. I told him no," Jacobs said.
The man opened the door to the cash register area. Jacobs said she was terrified.
"He opened the door where I was and said 'Give me the money.' I told him there was no money. He said 'Give me the money in the register.' He reached for my phone. I told my friend who was on the phone to call the police. He started hitting me," she said.
"I told him I was nervous and I told him to calm down. I was so nervous I couldn't open it. I asked him why he was yelling at me," she said.
Jacobs said after several times trying to open the register, she was able to get it open. He took the money and ran," she said.
Jacobs said she wants the police to capture the assailant and she is hopeful that the public will help identify him so he cannot rob and terrorize anyone else.
"I could've been killed. I'm glad that I wasn't," she said.
She also said this is the second time the store has been robbed since she has worked there.
"It was robbed on Oct. 10 of last year and this year on Oct. 9," Jacobs said.
Plew said the suspect was described as a black male in his mid-30s to early 40s, taller than 6 feet and with a large build.
Anyone with any information is urged to call Plew at 618-337-9505 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477. CrimeStoppers is an anonymous tip line that pays up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.