Columbia police arrest suspected armed robber in woods

Sunday’s robbery is the 38th reported in 2012, and the fifth in the past month.

Columbia police officers arrested a man Thursday morning in connection with the armed robbery of a Shell gas station on I-70 Drive Southwest earlier in the week.

Officers arrived at about 9 a.m. Thursday at Parker Street and Northland Drive to locate the suspect, Mark L. Swickard. According to a Columbia Police Department news release, Swickard, 31, was arrested in the woods near Bear Creek Trail and taken into custody without incident.

Swickard was arrested on charges of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery, felony theft from an unrelated incident and an outstanding warrant for a municipal traffic violation.

Swickard entered the station’s convenience store Sunday morning armed with a butcher knife and demanded money from the clerk, according to a previous CPD news release. The suspect took the cash register drawer and the clerk’s purse before exiting the store on foot.

Police were dispatched to the scene at 11:41 a.m. following an 11:40 a.m. 911 call placed by the store clerk. The first police officer arrived on the scene at 11:42 a.m., CPD spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said. The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s immediate search for the suspect was unsuccessful.

According to the news release, no one was injured during the robbery. Stroer said the clerk was the only person present in the store at the time of the incident.

The store had a surveillance camera installed and police released several surveillance images to the public.

"It was a very good video," Stroer said. "We got it out as soon as we could and we’ve put out multiple images hoping to get him identified."

Sunday’s robbery is the 38th reported in Columbia in 2012, and the fifth in the past month, according to online police records.

Share: Facebook / Twitter / Google+

Article comments


This item does not have any approved comments yet.

Post a comment

Please provide a full name for all comments. We don't post obscene, offensive or pure hate speech.