City sees sharp increase in armed robberies, creating holiday theft trend

Columbia saw five armed robberies during the month of November from convenience stores to Sonic.
Casey Purcella / Graphic Designer

Five armed robberies took place in Columbia since the day before Thanksgiving, according to the Columbia Police Department.

“We see an increase in robberies around this time due to the holidays,” CPD spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said.

The first robbery took place at 10:24 p.m. Wednesday at Sonic Drive-In restaurant, 2201 Paris Road, when two men entered the store and displayed guns.

Two robberies occurred Thursday. The first took place at 1:17 a.m. at Range Line Liquor, 907 Rain Forest Parkway, and the other at 3:15 a.m. at Petro Mart Convenience Store, 5612 E. St. Charles Road. One man entered Range Line Liquor and displayed a gun, and another man entered Petro Mart and pointed a gun at the clerk.

At 9 p.m. Saturday at Dollar General, 801 Vandiver Drive, a robber entered, displayed a handgun and demanded money from the cashier.

The last incident happened at 11:47 p.m. Sunday at the Wingate Inn, 3101 Wingate Court. Two masked men entered the inn with handguns and demanded money. One of the suspects struck the clerk in the left eye with a handgun, leaving bruises and a small laceration, according to a news release. This was the only one of the five robberies in which the weapons were used, Stroer said. In all five robberies, the individuals stole an undisclosed amount of money. CPD has not made any connections between the robberies, Stroer said.

Stroer said no arrests have been made and CPD has not identified the robbers.

“(They) were wearing masks, and so we don’t have a good video surveillance to put out to get a person identified,” Stroer said.

On Nov. 16, another armed robbery took place at Dollar General, 3700 Monterey Drive. The next day, CPD arrested a Columbia man on charges of an attempting to rob Boone County National Bank, 1009 Smiley Lane.

This year, 110 arrests have been made for burglaries in Boone County, according to the Missouri Uniform Crime Reporting Program. In 2010, 168 arrests for burglary were made.

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