A masked man fled the scene Tuesday afternoon after robbing Hop-N-Shop and its 21-year-old store clerk at gunpoint, according to Columbus police.
Officials said one employee and two customers were in the store during the 5:07 p.m. incident but no one was harmed.
Several officers were called to the business at 3475 #E North Lumpkin Road to investigate the armed robbery, according to a police report.
Witnesses said the clerk was tending to a customer when a 5-foot-8 black man with a faded black shirt covering his face entered the store and pointed a silver semi-automatic handgun at the customers and store clerk. He then went behind the counter and told the clerk, “You know what I want.”
The employee removed the “cash register pail” and placed it on the counter. The gunman, who was shirtless but wore camouflage pants and black shoes, removed more than $600 from the pail before demanding more money, witnesses told police.
The clerk gave the robber a cigar box containing nearly $800 in cash. The thief was headed out of the store when he stole the clerk’s cellphone valued at $40.
The gunman then fled the business heading westbound toward Airview Drive and Victory Drive and through the parking lot.
The store clerk told police that he recognized the robber’s voice and believe that he is a regular customer who often uses the gambling machines. He has a name tattooed on his right forearm and has been seen traveling in a red Nissan, the employee reported.
Officials located a man at the Staff Zone business on Victory Drive who matched the description witnesses gave of the armed robber. Police transported the man to the Hop-N-Shop, but witnesses stated that he was definitely not the individual who committed the theft.
That person was released.
Officials continue to search for any possible suspects. No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.