Armed gunman holds up Chevron

RaeLynn Ricarte

After an unknown suspect robbed the Chevron Gas Station at 11 p.m. Tuesday, May 7, he ordered the male clerk at gunpoint to walk outside and lay on his stomach in the dirt behind a shed about 50 feet away.
“The clerk thought he was going to be shot,” said Jennifer Moore, manager of the business at 370 W. Fifth Ave. “My heart breaks for him, no one deserves that.'
The clerk returned to the store after the robber fled and called police and owner Ankur Sood, who is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.
“He even managed to finish his shift,” Moore said.
Three police officers arrived a few minutes later and were assisted in searching the area by the Stevens County Sheriff's Office deputies and Chewelah Police. The suspect was unable to be found.
He is described as a white male, 6-foot to 6-foot-2 and weighing 160-180 pounds. He was wearing black pants, a gray sweater, a black and yellow makeshift ski mask and black gloves.
Surveillance footage shows the intent of the robber, Moore said, noting he stopped before entering the rear door to the station to cock his gun, so it was ready to shoot.
“This is a guy who had real forethought in his disguise and his actions,” she said.
Everyone at the Chevron was feeling “nervous” the morning after the incident, Moore said, noting they were briefed and discussed new security measures.
Moore said she is unsure why the robber chose to commit such a high-level crime at a business that keeps very little cash in the register.
“This is like my family; I've been here 12 years,” Moore said May 8. “I have just been letting everyone talk about what happened.
"It's a little like being a mom when your kids are afraid of the dark and the boogeyman and you reassure them – only this time the boogey man was real.”
She said people from the community began stopping by to check on the Chevron crew after news of the robbery circulated.
“I think we, as a community, take this pretty seriously,” Moore said. “There's a high level of compassion going out right now and it's nice to see it.”
Because residents of a small town are so closely connected, she believes the robber will be caught by information someone passes on to police.
“You get a level of security living here because its a small town and you see the same people every day,” she said. “I think it gets to be a point in your mind that something like this can't happen here.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Police Department at 509-684-2525 or Stevens County Dispatch at 509-684-2555.