Another armed robbery reported in Monroe County

Pictured is a still photo from surveillance footage of a man in the Express Mart gas station in De Soto, Mo., just 10 minutes before an armed robbery occurred there on Nov. 10. Police consider him a person of interest and say he fits the description of the suspect in that case. Similar suspect descriptions have been provided following gas station robberies in Columbia and Red Bud.

Columbia police are investigating an armed robbery that occurred Thursday at about 10:15 p.m. at Red Roof Liquor & Lottery, 301 Southport Drive.

The description of the suspect and details of this crime are very similar to armed robberies that occurred the evening of Thursday, Nov. 6, at Select Fuel (formerly Cowell’s) off Route 3 near Red Bud, as well as last Monday night at Express Mart in De Soto, Mo., and last Wednesday night at Phillips 66 near Festus, Mo.

Another gas station robbery earlier this month in Staunton also fits the same mold, police said.

No one was injured in the Red Roof robbery, and the suspect left with an undetermined amount of cash.

“The male pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded the clerk give him all the money,” Columbia Police Chief Joe Edward stated in a press release issued Friday afternoon.

Columbia police were assisted by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department and Waterloo, Cahokia and St. Louis County police departments in searching for the suspect. Officers searched on foot and by helicopter for the suspect but were unable to locate him.

Illinois State Police processed the crime scene as part of an ongoing investigation.

Columbia police said Monday they were still working to obtain surveillance video from the business.

The suspect in all of these recent armed robberies is being described by witnesses as

a younger white male standing about 5-foot-10 with a medium build, wearing all black clothing — including a black ski mask — and carrying a black semi-automatic pistol. He is also wearing black shoes with a white stripe on them.

Anyone with information on the Red Roof robbery is asked to contact Columbia police at 281-5151. Anyone with information on the Select Fuel robbery is asked to call the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department at 939-8651.

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