Several people robbed in downtown and Old Town at night over past two weeks

Published 8:21 pm Monday, October 30, 2017

Four armed robberies and possibly a fifth attempted armed robbery have been reported in downtown Selma and Old Town over the last two weeks.

The latest robbery happened Monday night when a legally blind man was robbed outside his loft apartment in the 100 block of Lauderdale Avenue. The man was sitting outside his apartment when he was approached by three men wearing masks.

The men, one of which was armed with a handgun, demanded money, which he didn’t have. They then made off with his cell phone and demanded to know if the phone had a security code, which it didn’t.

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The first armed robbery was reported on Saturday, Oct. 14 by an employee at El Rancheros on Broad Street.

The employee stepped into the alleyway to smoke and was approached by an unknown black male armed with a gun and dressed in jeans with a red shirt over his face. The victim said the robber pointed the gun at him and took cash, his phone and a debit card.

A few days later on Oct. 19, two women were robbed at gunpoint on Church Street around 8 p.m. walking home from the Wild Game Cook-Off.

One of the women told officers they were approached by two unknown males armed with weapons. The victim said one of the men demanded her purse, and she complied. She told officers the two men left with their faces uncovered, but they returned after one of them took out their cell phone to call police.

The victim said the two males covered their faces and demanded the phone. Once they saw other people walking toward them, the two robbers ran off.

On Oct. 25, a third armed robbery was reported just a few blocks away on Selma Avenue outside of a law office.

A 45-year-old woman said she was leaving the office on the 700 block of Alabama Avenue around 7 p.m. when she noticed two black males walking toward her. She said she got in her vehicle and started the engine, and one of the subjects approached the car with a gun and demanded money.

“[The victim] informed police that she stated that she did not have any money,” the report read.

She told investigators that once the two males saw another vehicle approaching, they ran away from the scene. She described one of them as 5’5” and 115 lbs. and the other as 5’7” and 115 lbs. She said one of them was wearing a green hoodie and black shorts with black scarf over his face.

The fourth incident was reported the next day on Oct. 26 around 9:15 p.m. The 63-year-old male victim told police he was walking to the front door of a home on the 400 block of Mabry Street when he was approached by two black males. He said one of them said something and pointed his arm at him in a threatening manner, but he could not understand what it was.

He told officers he drew his pistol and pointed it at them and said he did not want any trouble and for them to leave. He said one of the men shot at least one round at him before running off. He said another round was fired at him as the suspects were running away.

The victim was not hurt, and he did not return fire, but one of the bullets did go through a window of a house on Mabry Street.

An officer also found a .380 shell casing in the front yard of the home the victim was going to.

Lt. Tory Neely with the Selma Police Department said as of Monday no arrests have been made in these cases.

The robberies all happened within a few blocks of each other and have some people in the area unnerved.

“What it’s causing is a heightened level of uneasiness,” said Andrew Slagel who lives in Old Town. “It’s definitely unnerving, but it doesn’t want to make me move. It doesn’t make me want to leave.”