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Robber had assault rifle in store
A video surveillance camera captured this image Nov. 26 at the Maverik store on West Main Street in Riverton. Riverton Police Department

Robber had assault rifle in store

Dec 6, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Police hope the public can supply information about the perpetrator.

The Riverton Police Department is asking the public to help identify the perpetrator of last month's armed robbery at a local convenience store.

No one was injured in the incident, which took place just after midnight Nov. 26 at the Maverik Country Store, 1604 W. Main St.

Officials on Friday released surveillance photos from the robbery that show the suspect wearing dark clothing and wielding a large assault rifle both inside and outside the store.

The suspect's face is covered with a cloth or mask, but police chief Mike Broadhead hoped someone would recognize the person's clothing or the firearm, which appears to be an SKS-style rifle.

"Maybe (the pictures) will ring a bell for someone who can give us some leads," Broadhead said. "We don't have a lot to go on."

The suspect's clothing is too baggy to betray the person's build or weight, but Broadhead said he is confident the perpetrator is a man.

"We have audio, which we're not releasing," Broadhead said.

The Maverik cashier spoke with the suspect during the robbery.

Broadhead said he also would like to see surveillance footage from other businesses near the Maverik that may have captured the suspect's arrival and departure from the store. He wouldn't say how much money was taken during the robbery.

"A few things we need to hold back," he said. "In any criminal case, some things are only known to the people actively involved in it. That'd be one of those things."

He said his agency's investigation into the incident has not progressed much this week.

"To the best of my knowledge nothing has changed on that case," he said Friday, noting that several detectives have been out of town.

RPD Capt. Eric Murphy said officials have tracked down several leads in connection with the case that "haven't really panned out." He pointed out that the firearm in the photos was equipped with several accessories.

"It's kind of unique looking, pretty tricked out," he said. "We're hoping someone recognizes that kind of gun."

Anyone with information about the incident should call the RPD at 856-4891.

Photos

The series of photographs begins at 12:07 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, in the Maverik parking lot. In the first image, the suspect is seen standing alone in the dark with the rifle pointed barrel-first toward the ground. The man is wearing a hood that hides his face, but his body is pointed toward the Maverik entrance. He appears to have been walking from Main Street east of the store.

Next, the suspect enters the store, holding a black-gloved hand near the rifle's trigger. His body is angled toward the cashier's counter to the left of the entrance.

The barrel of the gun is still pointed downward, and again, the suspect's face is not visible. The second photo was captured six seconds after the first using surveillance footage from the Maverik's front door monitor.

In the third picture -- taken four seconds later with the same camera -- the suspect appears to be holding the gun with the barrel perpendicular to the floor while he speaks with the Maverik employee.

The robber is still standing on the store's welcome mat but has moved a couple of feet closer to the cashier's counter. The suspect's face is pointed away from the surveillance camera and so is still not visible.

The final frame was captured by a camera that monitors the Maverik cash register from behind the cashier's counter. A tray of money rests on the counter, and the robbery suspect is looking down at the cash. The time is 12:08 a.m.; exactly 59 seconds had passed since the first photo was taken in the Maverik parking lot.

Broadhead didn't want to infer any information about the suspect based on the surveillance videos.

"It's pretty speculative to try to reason from a video any real personality about a person," he said.

He agreed that the man doesn't appear to ever point the gun at the Maverik employee.

"The bandit kind of held (the rifle) at a ready position," Broadhead said. "The muzzle never was pointed at the clerk to the best of my knowledge."

The suspect did step out of the video frame during the robbery, however.

"For a pretty significant amount of time the person was in the store he's not on the video," Broadhead said. "So I couldn't say here today he never pointed the muzzle at the clerk. But generally we don't think he did that."

Regardless, Broadhead said he is concerned that the individual is still at large.

"Any time we have a person commit a crime with a firearm there's cause for concern," he said. "He clearly is dangerous; he was willing to take a firearm to a crime."

The RPD hasn't received a rash of robbery reports since the incident, and Broadhead said he doesn't know whether the person stayed in town or was traveling through on his way elsewhere.

The robbery was reported at about 12:10 a.m. Nov. 26. RPD officers responded to the scene, but the suspect reportedly fled in an unknown direction.

Undersheriff Ryan Lee said deputies assisted in the search for the suspect. RPD detectives and a crime scene unit were called to the location as well.

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