Armed Robbery at Toomsuba

A store near the state line is the latest site for an armed robbery. It happened just after 5 AM Thursday at the Shell station off I-20 in Toomsuba. The store clerk and at least two customers were robbed at gunpoint. Surveillance video of what happened is now being released.

The suspect is described as a rather tall, black male with a mid-to-dark complexion. At t the time was wearing a hoodie that was charcoal gray or black in color.

"We don't have information that a second person was involved," says Lauderdale County Sheriff Billy Sollie. "There was physical evidence collected at the scene that will be presented to the crime lab for hopefully analysis and identification."

Prior to entering the store, the clerk motioned for the man to pull off the hood he was wearing. He started to do that, and once in the door quickly pulled it back up and pointed a handgun at the clerk.

After pulling a gun on the clerk and robbing the store, the sheriff says the gunman robbed an unsuspecting customer who had just entered the store. Once outside the store, Sollie says the gunman robbed another customer who was outside with a 12-year-old.

'No shots were fired. No one was harmed, but he demonstrated the desire and ability to use force to take the money,' says Sollie.

According to store officials, it appears that the suspect has light facial hair. He fled the scene in what is being described as a Honda Accord thought to be blue and green in color.

Because the robbery happened about seven miles from the Alabama line, Sheriff Sollie says it's possible that the suspect is from the Dixie State.

'When you have one on the interstate near the Alabama line, one of the first things you think is that it was somebody from Alabama traveling back home who decided to make a last minute stop.'

In the wake of this armed robbery and other recent crimes, Sheriff Sollie has this advice for the public.

'Just please be aware of your surroundings. We strongly encourage people to arm themselves, not necessarily with guns, but with pepper spray to protect themselves, not to provide a weapon for the bad guy but to protect yourself because what you want to do is get away, not necessarily take somebody into custody.'

A cash reward is being offered to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. The number to call is the Crimestoppers line at (601) 485-1860.