Thursday, May 24, 2001

Robbery victims blow off prevention seminar

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        FLORENCE — After five convenience store heists in 17 days by an unknown masked bandit, city police offered robbery prevention training Wednesday.

        But only one person showed up, and he was just a concerned citizen.

        “The people who need to be here aren't,” Sgt. Lynne S. Clayton said.

        Police said they had delivered announcements about the training to the city's 27 convenience stores over the past two weeks.

[photo] Prevention retention was in short order in Florence Wednesday, when only one person, Charles Denny, (left) attended a robbery prevention seminar conducted by police Lt. Tim Chesser.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
        Announcements were made in area newspapers.

        People reached at the five stores robbed declined to comment for this story or referred calls to their corporate owners, who couldn't be reached for comment.

        Sgt. Clayton said the department has had mixed results when holding similar seminars for bank clerks.

        There were 19 robberies in Florence last year; police couldn't say how many robberies there have been in the first five months of this year.

        Police said they do not have a suspect in the string of robberies, believed to be the work of one man.

        The robberies include:

        • 11:27 p.m. on May 6 at the BP gas station on Winston Avenue in the Latonia neighborhood of Covington.

        • 11 p.m. on May 9 at the BP gas station on U.S. 42 in Florence.

        • 12:30 a.m. on May 14 at the Speedway on U.S. 42 in Florence.

        • 1:20 a.m. on May 16 at the Shell gas station on U.S. 42 in Florence.

        • 11:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ameristop Food Mart on Dixie Highway in Florence.

        The man wears a black nylon stocking mask to cover his face. He doesn't display a weapon, but in each instance shoved a hard object against a clerk's back.

        “We want to catch this guy before he injures someone,” Lt. Tim Chesser said.

        “No one has been hurt so far, but what happens when someone resists?”

        On Thursday, police released a description of a car which they believe was a getaway vehicle for at least one of the recent robberies.

        It is a maroon Dodge Stratus with dark windows. It was seen speeding out of the parking lot of Ameristop without its headlights on.

        Anyone with information about the robberies can call Florence police at (859) 647-5420 or CrimeStoppers at (513) 352-3040.


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