Barnhart armed robbery has nearby businesses on edge -

Barnhart armed robbery has nearby businesses on edge

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BARNHART, Mo ( -- Investigators are hoping someone will recognize the robber of a Barnhart Dollar General from the surveillance photos released this weekend.

The robbery has workers at some of the surrounding stores a little scared and wondering if it could have been them that had to face down a gun and a demand for money.

At Ginny's Kitchen and Custard in Barnhart, a lot of the talk over lunch was about the armed robbery that happened just two doors down Sunday.

"I've been working here probably 20 years and I've never seen anything this close to us," said Romona Midgett.

Investigators say a man walked into the store around 4 p.m., pulled out a gun and demanded money but didn't actually point it at the clerk or threaten to shoot her. He got a little over $100 and walked out.

"No threats other than displaying the handgun of course, and that was done shortly done on the countertop,” said lieutenant Gary Higginbotham.

The suspect is described as white or Hispanic, 5’8 to 6’0 and was wearing jeans, black t-shirt, a white bandanna and sunglasses. This was the second armed robbery in Jefferson County on Sunday.

29-year-old Timothy Sweeney is charged with first degree robbery for a holdup at a BP gas station south of Festus early Sunday morning.

"This is the first time that I can remember that we had two totally unrelated armed robberies that occurred in that short of time period," Higginbotham said.

Despite the armed robbery, those who live and work nearby say it is a safe area, but after the suspect at Dollar General terrified an 18-year-old female clerk with his armed holdup, they're a lot more cautious.

Investigators say no one saw the robber drive away so they assumed he had a car parked out of view but a check of surveillance cameras at neighboring businesses failed to see him.

They're hoping someone recognizes him from the photo in the store.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery should contact the Sheriff's Office at (636) 797-5515, or Sgt. Kausler at (636) 797-5546.

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