June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Officials believe station holdups linked

Allison Wood | The Gazette

WESTFIELD TWP. — An armed man who robbed the Pilot Truck Stop at 8924 Lake Road around midnight Saturday is believed to be the same person who held up a gas station in Medina Township and another in Richfield earlier this month.

“We have confirmed almost 100 percent it is the same individual,” said Detective Tadd Davis of the Medina County Sheriff’s Office after comparing surveillance videos.

The Pilot video shows the man entering the store and pacing around until a clerk waited on him at 11:57 p.m. After asking to purchase two lottery tickets, he placed a handgun on the counter and told the clerk to empty the cash drawer. After emptying one drawer, the man told the clerk to empty a second one before the clerk ran into the office to call police, sheriff’s records show.

Witnesses saw the robbery suspect get into a vehicle parked near a construction area, records show.

There was no one in the store or near the gas pumps at the time of the robbery, said Davis, which is unusual because the truck stop, located at Interstate 71 and U.S. Route 224, is normally quite busy.

The suspect is a light-skinned black or Hispanic male in his late 20s between 5-foot-8 and 5-foot-10. He was wearing a baseball cap, a black T-shirt and baggy blue jeans at the time of the robbery.

All three robbery locations have easy access to the highway — the robbery at the Pilot Truck Stop in Richfield on April 21 is close to the Ohio Turnpike and Interstate 77, while the one at Shue’s Marathon in Medina Township on April 15 is just off Interstate 71 on Medina Road.

Anyone with information about the robberies can call Davis or Detective Kevin Ross at the sheriff’s Detective Bureau, (330) 725-9116, or Detective Mike Swanson at the Richfield Police Department, (330) 659-9500.

Contact Allison Wood at (330) 721-4050 or allisonwood@ohio.net.