Until Friday, Pembroke Police Chief Bill Collins hadn't seen an armed robbery in town in the six years he's been on the force.
That changed at approximately 2:30 p.m. Friday, when an alleged armed robber forcefully obtained a large sum of money at Leggets Stop and Go convenience store on Hwy. 67 in Pembroke.
"The nature of this crime is a very, very rare occurrence in Pembroke," said Collins. "And I hope to God it is the last."
Collins said there have been "strong-armed robberies" in recent history, which are usually drug-related and involve a knife or no weapon, but none involving firearms.
The suspect at Friday’s crime was described as a black male with a ball cap, red shirt and black pants. A more detailed description was not available because the surveillance video was taken during the crime, police said.
When PPD Sergeant Billy Gray got the call, he drove toward the store. Near the scene, he spotted a pedestrian wearing clothes similar in description to the assailant. Gray said he questioned the man.
Gray said the pedestrian was not the suspect, but claimed to be a witness to the crime.
"The witness stated that a man just robbed Leggets and stuck a pistol to the back of his head," said Gray.
Here is what happened according to the police report: the offender entered the store and raised a pistol to the cashier while demanding money. The cashier then gave the robber all of the money from the register.
The robber then reportedly asked the cashier the whereabouts of the video camera. The cashier responded that it was behind a locked door at the rear of the store. The robber then aimed the pistol toward the witness, who was a customer in the store, and told him to kick the door down.
When the witness declined, the robber allegedly kicked the door open himself and took the video tape out of the surveillance equipment.
Gray said pictures were taken of the scene and the GBI has been notified. The matter is currently under investigation. Gray encourages anyone with any additional information regarding this crime to contact him via the Pembroke Police Department at 653-4414.