Crime

Police: Two Belleville gas stations robbed within eight minutes

Belleville police say this man entered the Midwest Petroleum station at 1291 Frank Scott Parkway West at 9:56 p.m. Sunday, displayed a handgun, demanded cash and cigarettes and then left on foot with the items.
Belleville police say this man entered the Midwest Petroleum station at 1291 Frank Scott Parkway West at 9:56 p.m. Sunday, displayed a handgun, demanded cash and cigarettes and then left on foot with the items. Provided photo

Belleville police are investigating two armed robberies that occurred Sunday night within eight minutes of one another on opposite ends of town.

A statement posted to the department’s Facebook page said the first robbery occurred at 9:48 p.m. Sunday at the Casey’s General Store at 1706 Mascoutah Ave. Store employees told responding officers that a heavyset black man who stood about 5-4 and wore black pants, a black Nike hooded sweatshirt and a cloth over his face approached the employees, brandished a handgun and demanded cash.

The employees gave the man an undisclosed amount of cash and he then ran westbound toward Garden Boulevard. Officers’ attempts to locate the man, which included using a police tracking dog, were not successful. The Casey’s employees were not hurt in the robbery.

Eight minutes later and nearly five miles away, at 9:56 p.m., police responded to the Midwest Petroleum station at 1291 Frank Scott Parkway West for a report of an armed robbery.

The clerk told police a black man with a thin build who appeared to be in his 20s and wore a gray and black jacket entered the store, displayed a handgun and demanded cash and cigarettes. The clerk complied with the request and the suspect left on foot with the cash and cigarettes in an unknown direction. The clerk was not injured.

Detectives and crime scene officers were not able to locate the suspect.

Belleville police urge anyone with information about either robbery to call them at 618-234-1212 or to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-8477.

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