Police: Few leads after gas station robbery in Canton
by Joshua Sharpe
November 21, 2013 09:50 PM | 2592 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — More than a week later, police say they still have few leads in the armed robbery of a Canton gas station last Tuesday that left Northside Hospital-Cherokee on a brief lockdown and, according to the store owner, cost the business thousands.

As of Thursday, detectives have not identified the two men who they say robbed a woman at gunpoint at the Shell gas station on Riverstone Parkway as she was leaving to make a bank deposit for the store, according to Lt. Jeff Tucker, spokesman for the Canton Police department.

The woman, who is the wife of store owner Aleem Basnet, described the suspects to police as two black men, with one wearing a blue hoodie sweatshirt and the other in a black hoodie. Basnet said shortly after the robbery his wife handed over a deposit bag worth about $30,000 when one of the men pulled out a gun.

But other than the description of the suspects provided by Basnet’s wife, Tucker said detectives have little information in the case, mostly because the store didn’t have a working surveillance system.

“When you don’t have a video to go on, it makes it pretty hard,” he said. “They rely so much on video nowadays. At any business, that’s one of our first questions, ‘You got a video?’”

There are also no other definite witnesses, which makes the investigation even more complicated with only the victim’s limited description to go on, Tucker said.

A few hours after the robbery, Canton Police Chief Robert Merchant said one person reported seeing two men jump into a car and drive away around the time of the incident, but it wasn’t clear if those men were related to the holdup.

The robbery happened at about 11 a.m. when the area on Riverstone Parkway not far from Northside Hospital-Cherokee is well-trafficked, but Tucker said no one appears to have seen anything, even considering the number of people who might’ve been in the area.

“People just don’t pay attention anymore,” he said. “Everybody’s so wound up in what they’re doing; normal people just don’t even pay attention.”

Tucker added detectives also don’t have a description of a getaway car for the men.

According to Basnet, police might have had a car to look out for, if only the robbery had gone as the suspects hoped it would when they confronted his wife in the store’s parking lot and took her car keys along with the bank bag.

The men apparently couldn’t figure out how to crank the car, because it was a newer model with push-button ignition, Basnet said.

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