Phillies Quick Stop robbed second time

NEWELL-For the second time in as many months, an armed man robbed the Phillies Quick Stop in Newell and fled the scene with cash.

The suspect, described as a white male wearing a dark hoodie, a toboggan, sunglasses and a bandana over his nose and mouth, fled on foot shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday with an estimated $500 in cash, Hancock County Sheriff Ralph Fletcher said.

“(He) exited the building heading north across the parking lot,” Fletcher said.

Once deputies canvassed the area, they found evidence indicating the robber changed direction from First Street and headed south on Coolidge Street, Fletcher said.

The man entered the store at 7:06 p.m. Thursday, displayed a handgun and demanded money from the clerk, according to the sheriff’s department.

The clerk, who asked that his name not be used, said in an interview that the man came into the store with his hand in his pocket and then pulled out the gun, pointing it at his head.

“He told me, ‘Open the door, open the door!’ ” said the clerk, a Yemeni man who also was working the night of the Nov. 26, 2013, robbery.

The clerk said he was afraid to defend himself because his 14-year-old brother was right there, running to the back of the store when he saw the hooded man enter.

Employee Roxie Simms said the only other people in the store at the time was a female employee, who was in the kitchen in the back with her 14-year-old daughter.

When the clerk opened the cash register drawer, the gunman grabbed the entire insert with the cash and fled, the clerk said.

“He told me, ‘Have a good day,’ and then he left,” the clerk said.

Fletcher said no arrests were made on Friday, and there is no reason to believe the two robberies are related. “We’re not ruling out the possibility of collusion,” he said.

The clerk said he doesn’t think Thursday’s robber is the same person because he had a “fat face,” unlike the Nov. 26 robber.

Any information regarding either incident can be reported to the sheriff’s department by calling 304-564-3911 or 304-564-4100.