2 Armed Robberies in 2 weeks; Homer Police Search for Suspect
This past Wednesday, January 6th, around 10:30 p.m. someone robbed the Short Stop Tesoro on top of Baycrest Hill at gunpoint. Just after 10 a.m. on December 28th, someone held up Fat Olives Espresso. That’s two armed robberies in Homer in two weeks. This fall, police also responded to two armed home invasions in Homer. Police Chief, Mark Robl recently talked with KBBI News Director, Daysha Eaton, about the rash of gun crimes.
Daysha Eaton: “There have been quite a few incidents with guns – home invasions and then two armed robberies in the past two weeks.”
Mark Robl: “I think we had two home invasions and then the two armed robberies. The armed robberies are definitely the crimes that we’re most concerned with. Not to downplay a home invasion, those are dangerous situations and ones you never want to see happen in your home community. But the home invasions that we had are different than what happens in other communities. These were crimes where none of the people were strangers to each other. So the perpetrators were known by the victims and they all had some type of disagreement that they were trying to air in a very inappropriate fashion.”
Daysha Eaton: “Is this normal for Homer to have this many gun-related crimes in such a short period of time?”
Mark Robl: “The home invasions are definitely unusual. Again, I’m not as concerned about them as I am with the armed robberies. I can’t say they’re normal by any means, but they don’t concern me that much simply because they’re not stranger crimes. These armed robberies are serious. We do have armed robberies occasionally. I think we had one or two a year ago and prior to that approximately two years ago we had an armed robbery and in both of those cases we were able to make arrests pretty quickly. I’m hoping that will happen this time too.”
Daysha Eaton: “So, do you have any leads? Do you think this is the same person or are these different people – what do you know?”
Mark Robl: “You know, I certainly think it’s the same perpetrator involved in each crime. As far as leads go, if we start talking about that I’ll be getting into some of the investigative details that we just need to keep confidential at this time. Like I said, armed robberies in Homer are very unusual and to think that we would have two different armed robbers acting at the same time is just not reasonable.”
Daysha Eaton: “What can people do if they maybe have a tip or they saw something or they remember something?”
Mark Robl: “You know, tips are great – We definitely need all the information that we can get. If somebody even thinks they saw something that might be related, we’d like to hear about it. Please give us a call. Our administrative line is 235-3150. They can file, if they want to be anonymous for some reason, they can file reports through Crime Stoppers. Crime Stoppers is available on the web or Crime Stoppers a 1-800 number, it is 1-800-478-HALT. In my 30 years, I haven’t seen more than four or five armed robberies in 30 years, so these are unusual crimes.”
Daysha Eaton: “Is there anything that I haven’t asked you that you feel is important to add or that we should talk about?”
Mark Robl: “If anyone is confronted by this man in their business, I would urge them to follow the man’s directions. Don’t try to fight, don’t try to antagonize him, don’t be a hero. Just be a good witness for us and do exactly what he says. Obviously the robberies are our chief concern right now and we’re going to deal with those, but I still think, overall, Homer is a very safe place for folks to live and raise their children and we’re going to do our best to keep it that way.”
Daysha Eaton: “Okay, thank you for your time. I appreciate it.”
Mark Robl: “Thanks.”
In a press release about the January 6th robbery, police described the suspect as a white male adult, 5'7" wearing black carhartt pants, a dark colored sweatshirt and a blue bandana. The suspect brandished a black, semi-automatic pistol and stole cash and several packages of cigarettes, according the release. Police advise anyone with information about the robberies to call the Homer Police Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-478-HALT.