Hunt on for suspect in Steamboat Springs armed robbery | SteamboatToday.com

Hunt on for suspect in Steamboat Springs armed robbery

— Steamboat Springs police still are working to identify a man suspected of robbing a Southside Station cashier at gunpoint late Sunday night.

Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Dave Kleiber said Monday morning that the unidentified man walked into the Shell gas station at Weiss Drive and U.S. Highway 40 just before 10 p.m. Sunday. The man then brandished a .22 caliber pistol and demanded cash from the male clerk. Kleiber said the cashier complied and the suspect took off running with the cash.

"We don't know for sure yet, but the best we can tell is that he probably left on foot," Kleiber said.

The cashier, a man in his early 20s, was alone when the gunman entered and was not injured during the robbery.

Police describe the suspect as a white or Hispanic male in his late teens to late 20s, 5-foot-8 to 6-feet tall, skinny and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with white lettering on the front. The man hid his face with an orange T-shirt with eye holes cut out of it.

"The store clerk did what I think was the absolute appropriate thing to do," Kleiber said. "It's just money. It's really not worth risking your life and limb over a few hundred bucks."

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Kleiber declined to say how much money was taken from the gas station. He said police collected some physical evidence at the scene and sent it to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for analysis. Police also were working Monday afternoon to enhance surveillance video that recorded the crime. Detectives are asking anyone with information about the robbery to call 970-879-4345.

After she met with Kleiber on Monday afternoon, Southside Station owner Denise Peterson said she hopes police are able to find and arrest the suspect.

"I hope they catch who did this because it's wrong, and it's not why we all live here in this community," she said. "When something like this happens, you feel violated and captive and angry. I just hope that law enforcement can get the breaks they need and catch this guy."

She also praised the actions of her cashier, who was alone when the robber entered the store minutes before it was set to close.

"He handled it the best he could have," she said. "He managed to stay calm and do exactly what the guy was asking him to do. He came out unscathed other than a horrible bout of anxiety and stress."

Peterson, who opened the convenience store with her husband in 2003, said business at the gas station will go on as usual despite the robbery.

Kleiber said this is the first armed robbery of a business in Steamboat that he can recall during his 12 years with the department. A Strawberry Park Hot Springs employee was robbed at gunpoint in January 2011 in rural Routt County.

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