Police say man targeted three businesses for robberies
STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- Police said a man tried to rob three Portage County businesses last week: two gas stations and an ice cream shop. One store manager said the man held out a knife, demanded money and then said he was sorry about the whole thing.
Police said a man held up a Mobil gas station last Sunday. Stevens Point Police said it was a white man with a light colored hoodie. They said said he took the money and ran.
"I didn't really think anything of it because it's all the way on the other side of town so it's quite the hike from over here," said BP store manager Emily Johnson.
That wasn't the last time Stevens Point Police would hear about him. Police said the same man tried to rob two more businesses just a few days later.
"The person was successful one time," said Stevens Point Police Sgt. Tony Babl. "He was turned down and he immediately went to another place so this is the third time."
Emy J's store owner Guy Janssen said a man ordered ice cream from the two girls closing up shop last Thursday. When he went to pay, he tried to take money but the two girls wouldn't let him. Janssen said the would-be robber took his ice cream and left. Now the owner said he plans to install security cameras.
"Safety is first," said Babl. "No amount of money is worth losing your life over."
After an unsuccessful heist on the west side of town, police said the man headed south toward the BP station. Johnson said the man circled around the store and stopped in the bathroom before pulling out his knife.
"He took the money and while he was taking it, he apologized several times," said Johnson. "Then he grabbed a few things off the shelf and walked out."
Stevens Point Police officers said they've stepped up their nighttime patrol and are looking for anything suspicious. They said they have a few leads and are still searching for the man in the white sweatshirt.
Police said witnesses saw the man casing the area around those businesses before each robbery attempt. They encourage anyone with information to call the Stevens Point Police at 715-346-1500.