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Mechanicsville robber grabs woman by hair, assaults her before stealing cigarettes and cash

Posted at 3:32 PM, Oct 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-31 19:10:11-04

Mechanicsville robber grabs woman by hair, assaults her before stealing cigarettes and cash

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. -- Hanover investigators are looking for the man who assaulted a woman working at the Shell gas station along the 7200 block of Mechanicsville Turnpike early Friday morning.  Hanover County Sheriff's deputies were called to the store about 12:30 a.m.

"Responding deputies determined that the clerk was approached by a black male suspect who demanded U.S. currency while threatening to be armed," Hanover Sheriff's Office spokesman Mike Trice said. "The suspect then walked behind the counter and assaulted the clerk. After the assault, the suspect took U.S. currency and cigarettes and then left the scene on foot. The clerk was treated at a local hospital for her injuries."

HCSO- Shell Station robbery suspectSurveillance video showed the man assaulting the clerk.

"At the time she had came up, she was trying to close our shift out for the next day. And he saw the money that she was hurrying up trying to drop," Shelly Vasquez, the store's manager, told CBS 6 reporter Sandra Jones.

Vasquez said the overnight clerk thought it was a joke at first until the suspect said he had a gun, walked around the counter and grabbed her.

"Grabbed her, she said, by her hair, and then kind of pulled her down, and punched her. And I guess she had the money in her hand -- and he grabbed the money from her hand," said Vasquez.

While the clerk was on ground, Vasquez said the robber took off with cash and cigarettes.

Vasquez said it was a bold move because of the store's location and sheriff's deputies nearby.

"They're always in and out getting car washes, buying things," Vasquez explained.

Marlon Walker, the clerk's husband, said he had just left the store where the two work.

"I got a voicemail and I heard her crying on the voicemail. I thought I heard like police or somebody in the background, so I knew that it wasn't good," Walker said.

And even with the suspect caught on tape, Marlon is concerned this crime could turn into a copycat situation.

"I rather it happen to me than my wife," Walker said. "I rather her not have to deal with that type of mental, physical, and emotional stress."

Investigators described the suspect as a 6-foot-tall, 200-240 pound black man wearing a black hoodie and dark pants.

Anyone with information is asked to call Hanover County Sheriff’s Office at 804-365-6140 or the Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.