Convenience store robbed for second time

By Dianna Wray - DWRAY@VICAD.COM
Nov. 12, 2012 at 5:12 a.m.

A convenience store was robbed for the second time in three days Monday night.

A man walked into Pit Stop, 1501 North St., about 7 p.m. Monday.

The owner of the store was standing behind the register. A store employee was on her break seated at a small table behind the counter.

Both the owner and the employee declined to give their names for the story out of fear for their safety.

A man in a hooded sweatshirt and glasses stepped to the counter and told the owner to give him money.

"Hurry up," he told the owner.

The employee looked up when the man snapped at her boss. She recognized his voice. She had been behind the counter Saturday when a man walked in and robbed the store.

He had stepped up to the cash register Saturday.

"Can I help you?" she asked.

"Yeah you can. Just give me all of your money," he said.

She thought it was a joke. His face was calm, devoid of any emotion.

"Excuse me?" she said.

He told her she'd heard what he said. Then he poked something from underneath his hoodie that seemed to be a gun.

She snapped into focus and gave him the money. He took the money she handed across the red vinyl countertop and walked out the door without a shred of emotion on his face, she said.

She started to spring to her phone to call police, but her movement seemed to catch his eye, and he looked back toward her. His eyes locked with hers, and she froze in place, afraid to move or look away as he continued to hold her gaze while he walked out the door past the store windows and dropped out of sight. She then called the police.

"I thought I'd have a better chance of winning the lottery than being robbed two times in a week," she said.

Just three days later, the store was being robbed again. She leaned around the corner and recognized the man. Even with glasses on, she knew it was him.

Again, he thrust what appeared to be gun toward the owner and told her to empty the cash register.

Frozen in place, the employee could only watch, terrified. He was louder this time, more agitated, she said.

After getting the money, he walked out of the store. Victoria police pursued him, but he escaped capture.

Victoria Police Officer Heather Rodriguez said the man was about 35 years old. The investigation is ongoing, Rodriguez said.

After the robbery, the owner and employee sat quietly behind the counter of the store, looking shaken, while police dusted for fingerprints and conducted their investigation.

The employee seemed dazed. She started her job at the convenience store two weeks ago.

"You see these kinds of things happening on TV, but I never thought it would happen to me," she said.



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