By Ellen Thompson/Havre Daily Newsfirstname.lastname@example.org
A clerk at the Highland Park Noon's convenience store was held at gunpoint for a second time, one week after the last robbery, Havre police said today.
The robbery was reported at 4:34 a.m. Sunday, according to Assistant Police Chief George Tate.
The previous robbery was reported at 5:22 a.m. Sunday Sept. 13.
"The investigation leads us to believe it's the same person," Tate said.
The robber is described as a male, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a medium build. The man wore a fish-net stocking over his face, a baseball cap, a white sweatshirt and black gloves. He was carrying a small handgun.
The man was originally thought to be wearing glasses in the first robbery, but police have since determined he was wearing ski goggles. He also wore a black and white coat, a ski mask and a baseball cap.
Unlike the first robbery, the clerk was verbally threatened by the man Sunday, according to Tate.
After examining surveillance video, police have determined that the baseball caps worn in the two robberies are not the same, Tate said. Police have sent surveillance footage of the first robbery to the FBI so the images can be enhanced.
Police officers were investigating a hit and run two blocks away when the robbery call came Sunday, Tate said. Those officers were within a block of Noon's during the robbery, he added.
The time between the initial phone call at 4:34 a.m. and when the officers responded was roughly 2 minutes, Tate said. The officers ran toward the store hoping to intercept the robber.
The robber left on foot both times. After the first robbery, the man started to go west out of Noon's, then turned around and fled east. This time, the robber went west and was not intercepted by the officers approaching from the east, Tate said.
"He made the right guess," he added.
About $180 was stolen during the first robbery. The amount of money stolen from the second robbery is unknown, Tate said.
Tate said the police have no suspects at this time.
Highland Noon's store manager Jack Trethewey said that any decision to install another surveillance camera or to change store hours would come from upper management. Noon's, which is owned by Hi-Noon Petroleum out of Missoula, could not be reached for comment this morning.
"I have not formally asked for more police patrol, though I am assuming they will be patrolling a little more around our area," Trethewey said.
Previous to these two robberies, the last time that a business was robbed at gunpoint in Havre was about two years ago at the Noon's convenience store on First Street, Tate said.
People with information about the robbery are asked to call the Havre Police Department at 265-4361 or Havre Crimestoppers at 265-4444.