Southside Convenience Store is Robbed Twice in Two Weeks - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

03/07/04

Southside Convenience Store is Robbed Twice in Two Weeks

A bold robbery on Savannah's southside has left a huge mess for one convenience store owner. It happened early Sunday morning at the Shell station on the corner of Waters Avenue and Eisenhower Drive.

Some men drove a pick up truck into the store, plowing through the wall. The vandals then jumped out of the truck, stole the ATM machine, and took off into the night. The brazen robbers crime spree was all caught on the store's surveillance tape. "I'm amazed the truck can ride around with an ATM in the back of it, at that time of night, and nobody saw it," said Owner, Gary Allen.

A makeshift wall, broken glass, and piles of sheet rock are all that’s left from the robber's smash and grab.

Allen has only owned this store for two months, but the early morning phone call he got from police was not his first one. This is the second time the Shell station has been hit by vandals. Just two weeks ago, robbers came back three times in one night. They tried to take the ATM, but when that failed, they opted for something else.

"They couldn't get it loose, so left and came back 5 minutes later, jumped over with a flashlight in his mouth, and snatched my cash box," explained Allen.

That time, the robbers got away empty handed. But with two robberies in just two weeks, Gary Allen isn't taking any more chances."We went ahead and got wired so we could have cameras outside. But we really didn't expect in the first two months of business to have been broken into twice."

Along with beefed up security, Gary says a third time will not be a charm for any would be robbers. The owner is moving his ATM to an entirely different location. "The only way they'd be able to get out would be have enough time to cut it out.and they're not going to have that next time," said Gary.

The ATM was recovered on Sunday in downtown Savannah. No word from police on how much money the robbers may have gotten away with. Gary Allen said the vehicle used in the robbery is a white pick up truck, with ladders and tools boxes on the side. The truck also has some type of damage to the back of it, from where the robbers smashed into the store wall.

If you have seen this truck, or have any information about either of these robberies.you are asked to call Savannah Police or Crime Stoppers at 234-2020.

Reported by: Melanie A. Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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