Police seek warrant for suspect in robbery

Homer Police on Wednesday filed for an arrest warrant for a suspect in an armed robbery last Thursday of the Wagon Wheel, a longtime Homer feed, animal supply and garden store on Ocean Drive. 

The store is known for its frequently photographed “Pick Up Chicks Here” sign. Police did not want to name the suspect until Judge Margaret Murphy granted the warrant, but wanted to assure the public a suspect had been identified.

At about 1:40 p.m. Sept. 4, a man entered the store, brandished a handgun and demanded money from the register. The male clerk handed over several hundred dollars, said Homer Police Lt. Will Hutt. No one was injured in the incident.

After getting the money, the man then ran to a white four-door passenger car driven by a woman with long blonde hair. The car was parked “parallel to the road, like a Bonnie and Clyde getaway,” Hutt said. “It was ready to go westbound.”

The clerk described the car as having gold trim on the doors, but did not have information about the make and model or a license plate number. The robber was described as a white male, about 5-feet 9-inches or 5-feet 10-inches tall with blue eyes, short black hair, black jeans and wearing a black Oakland Raiders hoodies.

Police have been looking into vehicle registrations for white cars in the Homer and Anchor Point zip code areas — a daunting task, Hutt said.

“Between the rental agencies and the white sedans in Anchor Point and Homer, there are upwards of 6,000 vehicles matching that description,” he said.

After the robbery last Thursday, police officers,including Police Chief Mark Robl, patrolled Homer looking for suspect vehicles. “We were calling in plates right and left,” Hutt said.

Hutt said he and other officers suspect the robbery was drug related, with the suspect looking for quick cash to feed a drug habit.

“It’s kind of uncharacteristic for our town,” Hutt said. 

He noted the only other robberies in the past 18 months have been of the Grog Shop liquor store on Pioneer Avenue.

Hutt recommended that retail stores try to keep as little cash on hand as possible, leave tills open at night to prevent damage to cash registers and hide any cash, varying the location of where cash is hidden.

Police are asking anyone with any information about the Wagon Wheel robbery to call Homer Police at 907-235-3150 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-478-4258.