Police investigating gas station robbery

Homer Police continue to investigate an armed robbery last week of a Baycrest Hill gas station. In the second armed robbery in two weeks, a man held up at gunpoint the Short Stop Tesoro gas station on Jan. 6. 

According to a Homer Police press release, at about 10:30 p.m. Jan. 6, a white man walked into the gas station store at the top of Baycrest Hill on the Sterling Highway. He brandished a black, semiautomatic pistol and stole cash and several packs of cigarettes.

On Monday, Homer Police released several screen captures taken from video cameras at the gas station. The images show a man in a hoody entering the store, the man at the counter and then the man holding a bag containing cigarettes and cash and forcing two people out a door.

Police described the man as being about 5-feet-7-inches tall  with light colored hair, and wearing black Carhartt canvas pants, a dark colored hoody sweatshirt and a blue bandana. Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call Homer Police at 235-3150 or call Crimestoppers at 800-478-4258 (478-HALT). Reports also can be made online at peninsulacrimestoppers.com.

Homer Police Chief Mark Robl said investigators believe the Short Stop Tesoro robber is the same man who on Dec. 28 held up at gunpoint the Fat Olives Espresso on Ohlson Lane. That man was described as being in his mid-20s, about 140 pounds and between 5-feet-4-inches and 5-feet-7-inches tall. The man wore a black balaclava ski mask with only the nose and eyes showing. He also wore an oversized brown camouflage jacket and baggy blue jeans.

“I think we have a good general match on the description. We very seldom have one armed robbery in town, much less two,” Robl said.

Robl said on Tuesday that police have received several calls since last week with information or tips about the case. He encouraged people to keep calling with information.

Robl advised people to be cautious if confronted by an armed robber.

“This perpetrator is obviously dangerous. We recommend  that anyone confronted by him do exactly as they’re told. Stay cool and stay careful,” he said.

Armed robberies of businesses on the lower Kenai Peninsula are relatively rare. According to news records, the Short Stop robbery is the fifth reported armed robbery of a business in Homer or Anchor Point since 2009. An alleged robbery in September 2014 of the Wagon Wheel was later shown to have been a false report made by an employee to cover up theft of cash from the till.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.