Annette Hayden Havre Daily News email@example.com
Havre police followed a number of leads this morning in pursuit of an armed robber that struck in broad-daylight Thursday then vanished. An employee of Town Pump Food Stores in Havre called 911 at 11:25 a.m. Thursday from the 400 block alleyway between First and Second avenues. According to police, “a very large man was banging on the employee’s car window with a handgun demanding the employee open the car door and hand over the money. It is likely the employee is (still) alive because he didn’t resist (the robber).” According to Police Chief Mike Barthel, the Town Pump employee was in the area to make a bank deposit. “Our dispatch was on the line with the employee throughout the ordeal, except for a brief disconnection,” Barthel said. “She was instructing him to lock his doors and try to drive away, but the assailant had blocked the employee in the alley. “It is believed the employee was followed from the business and blocked while he was still in his car,” Barthel added. “The guy jumped out of a white pickup, believed to be a newer Dodge, and was banging on the window with the gun yelling for the employee to give him the money. The employee was on the phone talking to dispatch while he was getting robbed. When the guy got in through a back car door, phone contact was lost for a minute. He demanded the deposit bag and the employee quickly handed it over and called 911 back.” On the first call, dispatch had alerted area law enforcement, however the robber still managed to elude officers. “The assailant was already gone within the few minutes it took to get there,” Barthel said. “Montana Highway Patrol had been alerted, Hill County And there were five Havre Police Department officers near the scene. The truck was gone.” The assailant is described as 6-feet or taller and more than 300 pounds, dark complected and wearing a hood over his head. The truck did not have license plates, only a pink and white license plate placard that said “Dave Smith,” which police believe to be a dealer in Idaho. A statewide alert for the man and the truck was initiated. Havre police were following leads this morning, but the robber remained at large. Crimestoppers in offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and convection of the assailant. To report information, call Crimestoppers at 265- 4444 or Havre Police Lt. Russ Ostwald at 265-4361.