By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore police and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency personnel continued this week their investigation into the December 21 armed robbery of ABC Beverages Store 41 on North Main Street.
“We’re still working on it; it’s still under investigation,” Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks, whose department is the lead agency on the case, said late last week.
Police reports show that the robbery occurred around 5 p.m., when a lone gunman entered the state-owned liquor store and demanded cash from the attendants.
Brooks said the suspect who actually committed the robbery most likely had a confederate, and the duo probably spent a good portion of the day watching the store, which is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., and trying to decide on the right time to pull the heist.
“We believe they cased the store all day,” he said. “It being a Friday, the store was busy most of the day. (The suspects) finally got the opportunity to go in right before it closed.”
The armed suspect, dressed in black with his face, hands and arms covered to mask his identity, reportedly hit one of the attendants with his handgun during the theft of an undisclosed amount of cash.
“Only one suspect went into the store,” Brooks said. “He was completely covered up, his face, hands and arms. We know it was a male but right now we don’t know what race he is or anything else about him.”
The armed bandit reportedly grabbed the cash, then fled on foot. Alabama Department of Corrections tracking dogs were called in but lost the suspect’s scent around Avenue B, just a few yards north of the store.
“We got a dog team out there shortly after we received the call (about the robbery),” said the police chief. “They followed the scent for a very short distance before losing it, so we believe (the robber) probably got into a car at that point.”
Brooks urged anyone with information that could help identify the suspect or otherwise aid in the investigation to call 368-9141.