orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

March 15, 2014

Employee safety concern during robberies

Dawn Burleigh
The Orange Leader

PINEHURST — Recent store robberies in Pinehurst and Vidor raise questions of concern for employee safety.

“In the case of the Dollar General Store robbery, the staff did everything they were suppose to do,” Pinehurst Chief of Police Fred R. Hanauer III said.

Hanauer suggest store clerks should be trained in use of surveillance systems.

“They need to have a good working knowledge of the devices so they can quickly get the information needed for the police,” Hanauer said.

Vidor Police Department is searching for two men in reference to a robbery at approximately 5:45 p.m. Thursday at Cindy’s Bridal and Formal located at 949 North Main Street in Vidor.

The men, a white male approximately 5’ 11”, weighing 170 pounds, wearing glasses and a black male, approximately 5’8” and 235 pounds, fled the scene driving a white 4-door car of an undetermined make or model.

No weapons were involved in the robbery. The employees of the store did not sustain any serious injuries.

“We are doing what we can to locate the subjects,” Detective Chris Pearson said. “We have received phone tips which we have been following up on.”

Any persons with information pertaining to the robbery are asked to contact Vidor Police Department Detective Mark Steele at 409-769-4561.

Pinehurst Police Department responded to a reference to an aggravated robbery at approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Dollar General Store located at 2500 MLK Jr. Drive in Pinehurst.

Store employees, according to a press release from the police department, said two black males entered the store and demanded money.

One of the males displayed what appeared to be a silver handgun and pointed it at employees while demanding cash from the registers and safe.

An undetermined amount of currency was taken before the two subjects fled the area on foot carrying a yellow, hand held Dollar General shopping basket.

Any persons with information about this crime are asked to contact the Pinehurst Police Department at 409-886-2221.

Hanauer also offered more insight on safety for store employees.

“Once the person leaves, the store manager should lock the front doors with everyone inside. That even means the customers,” Hanauer said. “Not only will it help preserve trace evidence, but if the police should arrive while the subject still outside, it could prevent a hostage situation if the person tries to reenter the store.”

Aggravated Robbery is a first degree felony and is punishable by 5 to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.