Several stores hit Mon.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

A rash of armed robberies Monday night kept police busy, as one suspect was caught and authorities continue to search for at least two more.

Robbers struck the Southern Pantry on Highway 80 W., and almost simultaneously the Shell station on Broad Street. Before authorities could get a suspect to headquarters for questioning another robber struck the BP station on Hwy. 14 E.

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Police said thee incidents were unrelated, however, there were similarities between the Southern Pantry Citgo robbery and the PB heist.

Greg Brown was standing in front of Selma City Hall with a poster protesting the proposed bond issue saying &8220;Need Cops Not Cameras.&8221;

Within moments after he left he found himself in the middle of an armed robbery at the Shell gas and convenience store on Broad Street.

Brown helped police catch Gary Leon Harris, 28, who was found behind the Shell station hiding in an abandoned house. His 9mm pistol was also recovered, along with the red sweatshirt with the hood he allegedly used to conceal his face. He has been charged with robbery first degree.

The attendant, Kay Craig,

sat on a stool outside the store,

visibly shaken.

The store manager, Faye Hooker, arrived then called the other Shell station on Highland Avenue she manages.

Police were then called to the BP on Highway 14, where an unmasked black male kept his hands in his pockets and demanded several cartons of cigarettes and cash.

Hickenbottom, 30, said just after 8:40 p.m. a lone black male came in and asked for several cartons.

She said he was polite, but made her uneasy as he acted as though he had a pistol.

Police said a lone black male entered the Southern Pantry gas/convenience store at about 8 p.m. and asked for cigarettes. He kept his hands inside his pockets, threatening as though he had a pistol, police said.