By Rachel Lake (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Click here to friend Rachel on Facebook
8:38 PM EST, January 31, 2013
ELKHART – Three robberies at three different businesses north of Elkhart near Simonton Lake: No one was hurt, but are the robberies a coincidence or are they linked? You might be surprised to hear what investigators with the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department think.
Along State Road 19, across from Simonton Lake, you'll find this Marathon gas station. Manager Mital Patel has worked there for nearly ten years.
"We never have problem," said Patel.
Until the evening of January 29, Elkhart County sheriff deputies say two men walked into the store and robbed the clerk at gunpoint.
"Two people come with the mask and gloves,” said Patel. “They jump over the counter and one guy he has a gun. He says ‘Sleep on the floor face down,’ the one guy with a gun.”
The store clerk wasn't hurt.
The Friday before this happened, robbers also hit the Elkhart Cigarette Outlet and Low Bob's, which are just a few doors away.
"It's a heavily-patrolled area, but it's location lends itself to an avenue of escape," said Undersheriff Sean Holmes.
Holmes says there's always a possibility all three robberies are related, but he says the evidence doesn't suggest that.
"That particular area is close to the state line, it's a busier area for suspects to blend into the population so we have had incidents like this in the past," he said.
None of the suspects have been caught. While deputies look for them, Patel is taking his own precautions.
"I try to take some bulletproof glass at least nobody can jump over the counter that's what I'm going to do next week," he said.
Anything to keep his employees safe.
Police say two men were involved in all three cases. They say a woman was standing by the door during the Low Bob's robbery.
Marathon Gas Station: Two male suspects wearing black masks and gloves. Suspects left the store and entered into a gold-colored sport utility vehicle and left headed westbound on Roseland Rd.
Elkhart Cigarette Outlet: Two white males.
Low Bob's: The suspects in this robbery are described as two white males and one white female in their 20s. One white male was wearing a camo-style hoodie, jeans, and is 5'10" tall and weighs between 160 and 170 lbs. The second white male was wearing a red jacket with Indiana in white letters across the front. He had jeans on and is 5'10" tall and weighs between 160 and 170 lbs. The third suspect is described as a white female with a heavy set build. She was wearing a dark-colored jacket with a fur lined hood, and her face was covered with a cream-colored scarf.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department at 574-533-415.
Copyright © 2013, WSBT-TV