Evidence seized during the search of an apartment Thursday afternoon yielded new leads that point to possible suspects in two recent armed robberies in Washington, said the city’s chief detective.
“I’m about 98 percent sure that we have identified two suspects,” Detective Sgt. Steve Sitzes told The Missourian. “We are making progress, but there are still loose ends we need to tie together.”
Detectives and police officers have been working to solve the back-to-back crimes including the Tuesday, Sept. 14, holdup of the Fischer Phillips 66 gas station at Fifth and Elm streets and the Sept. 17 armed robbery of the Fas-Trip BP gas station at Highway 47 and Fifth Street.
Earlier this week, detectives questioned two possible suspects and obtained some evidence.
“Based on our earlier investigation and evidence obtained, Detective Darryl Balleydier was able to get a search warrant for an apartment in town,” Sitzes said. “When we served the warrant we recovered additional evidence.”
Police also found evidence that links the suspects to at least one burglary in recent weeks.
Last week, police announced a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect or suspects in the crimes.
A lone robber wielding a large kitchen knife got away with an undisclosed amount of cash after threatening a clerk at the Fischer Phillips 66 gas station at Fifth and Elm streets.
Three nights later, two men believed to be in their late teens or early 20s, entered the Fas-Trip station and demanded cash from a clerk on duty. One of the men displayed a long knife. After they were given cash from the register, the two left the store and were last seen crossing Fifth Street on foot toward the Mercy Hospital parking lot, according to reports.
It’s believed to be the first time that back-to-back armed robberies in Washington were committed in that short of a period of time.
In both robberies, the suspects wore bandanas to hide their faces and baseball caps.
The robbery at the Fas-Trip station occurred at about 11:52 p.m. Tuesday, according to the time on a surveillance video obtained by police.
Sitzes said when the one suspect with the knife announced a holdup and demanded cash, the clerk said she would have to complete a transaction with a customer before she could access the register. The suspects waited about 30 seconds then were given the money.