Crime Stoppers: Armed Robbery at Tobacco Mart - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Crime Stoppers: Armed Robbery at Tobacco Mart

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What happened at the Hixson Pike Tobacco Mart last week has left a store clerk shaken up. "At that time, I was eating my lunch," he said, "so, I never expected things would happen."

Surveillance video shows a man enter, quickly, just after 2:00PM. And just as quickly, the situation became very dangerous. "He came in and held a gun on me," the clerk explained. "He took me to the register and took all the money. And also he said not to make any sound or not to do anything, but to give him money."

The video is a bit tough to watch, even today. At any time, the robber's gun could have gone off. "Very aggressive," Chattanooga Police Detective Kendon Massengale described. "He was pulling on the clerk, putting the gun to his head, yanking him around; very aggressive behavior."

"I really got scared when he took me to the back door. I thought he was going to shoot me," the clerk continued. "I told him, 'you take whatever you want. Leave me alone' and 'I don't carry a gun or things like that.' Then, he pulled my shirt on top of my head and covered me so it was dark and he made me lie on the floor."

This crook wanted more than what was in the till. "He also demanded the wallet and cash from the clerk and locked him in the back room before he exited on foot," said Det. Massengale.

The pictures taken from the store video are relatively clear, but here is a suspect description. "Appeared to be a medium build black male, light skinned, about 6 feet tall," Massengale said. "He had, what looked like, a thin goatee on his face, is about the only thing we could tell."

Identify this guy. Help end, or at least pause his life of crime. Give this store clerk a little bit of peace. Since then I'm really scared; don't know what to do," he said. "It turned out to be a real nightmare."

Do you know anything about this crook or this crime? If so, call Crime Stoppers: 698-3333

Up to $1,000 reward cash is up for grabs. And as always, an officer may answer the phone or return your call, but he will never ask your identity.

Should you ever find yourself in this position, assaulted by a gun-wielding thief, Det. Massengale says you would be wise to follow the clerk's lead. "They want the money and they want to get out quick," he said. "And trying to stop somebody over a couple of hundred dollars is not worth your life."

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