Printed on: December 27, 2012

Another store is robbed

By Ruth Brown
rbrown@postregister.com

Police officers searched Wednesday for a man who robbed an Idaho Falls convenience store at gunpoint Saturday night.

The robbery was reported just before 9 p.m. at the Phillips 66 convenience store at 495 W. 17th St.

Store clerk Katie Dugan, 26, told police she was standing outside the front doors smoking a cigarette when a man approached her with a handgun and ordered her inside, Idaho Falls Police Sgt. Phil Grimes said. After entering the store, the robber pointed the gun at Dugan and told her to give him all the cash in the register. She complied, and the man left the store through the front doors, walked around the northwest corner of the building and headed south on Rollandet Avenue, Grimes said.

Dugan was the only person in the store at the time of the robbery.

The suspect was described as 5 feet 7 inches with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a white diamond logo on the front. He also wore black jeans, black-and-white Converse Chuck Taylor shoes, gloves and a ski mask.

The man's physical description was similar to that of a man believed responsible for several summertime convenience-store robberies that remain unsolved. While police have no reason to believe the suspect in the Saturday night robbery is the same man involved in the summertime robberies, Grimes said they are not ruling it out.

The summertime incidents began June 30 with the armed robbery of the Maverik Country Store at 2625 W. Broadway. That was followed by the July 10 robbery of the Common Cents outlet at 1940 W. Broadway. A third armed robbery happened July 29 at the Common Cents outlet at 1003 S. Boulevard.

The suspect in those robberies was described as a white male, standing about 5 feet 6 inches and weighing 130 pounds.

In all three incidents, the suspect's face was covered.

This incident is the second time the Phillips 66 convenience store has been robbed in just more than one year.

On Nov. 25, 2011, the store was robbed at knifepoint by Andrew Knoelk, 23, and Paul Elliot Albert Jr., 18.

Knoelk and Albert were tied to two additional robberies occurring Nov. 23 and Nov. 26, 2011. Both men were sentenced to serve rider treatment programs.

Anyone with information about any of the robberies is asked to contact the Idaho Falls Police Department at 529-1200 or Crime Stoppers at 522-1983.

Robbery is punishable by five years to life in prison.