By GARY POPP
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
Lawmen in Clark and Floyd counties are looking for a man believed to have used a large steak knife to rob three area gas stations in three days.
The armed robberies occurred at Valero gas station at 327 W. Fifth St. in New Albany at 1:33 a.m. Sunday; Speedway convenience store at 401 E. Lewis and Clark Parkway in Clarksville at 3:35 a.m. Sunday; and BP gas station at 2202 E. Spring St. in New Albany at 3:21 a.m. Tuesday.
New Albany Police Detective Kelley Brown said the methods used by the suspect and the clothing worn in each incident are so similar, it appears the same person has committed each of the robberies.
The suspect in the first two robberies was wearing a red, hooded jacket and a blue-green handkerchief over his face.
Brown said the surveillance photo from the third robbery shows a suspect in a dark, hooded jacket with a clothing tag showing.
“We believe that he turned his jacket inside out and, so, that is why we believe it is related to the other two [robberies],” Brown said.
He said New Albany police is increasing its patrol of area business and providing the suspects’ photos to all patrol officers.
Brown said community members may be able to help law enforcement catch the suspect just by being aware.
“A lot of people are probably seeing things they don’t even know they are seeing,” Brown said. “It’s hot outside now. If you see someone walk into a gas station wearing a long-sleeved, hooded jacket late at night, call the police.”
Brown also stressed the public does not try to interact with the suspect and to take steps to stay safe.
“He is obviously armed with a deadly weapon,” he said.
A report of the Clarksville robbery was released to the public by the Clarksville Police Department.
According to the report, the Speedway employee told police after the suspect entered the business, “... he pushed two customers, by knife point, to the middle of the store.”
The employee reported that he then walked behind the counter, pointed the knife at her and stated, “Give me your money.”
She reported the suspect’s knife touched her arm enough so that she was able to tell police it was sharp.
“She stated that the suspect pushed her to the back part of the counter, at which time she opened the drawer and the suspect grabbed the money, lifted up the drawer and when he realized he had all he money from the drawer, he mumbled a few words to her as well as the two witnesses at which time he exited the front doors,” according to the police report.
No one has been injured in any of the robberies and an undisclosed amount of money has been taken from the businesses in each incident.
The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-20s, approximately 5 feet, 8 inches tall with a medium build.