Gun-wielding Robber Takes Cash, Smokes From JP Variety Store

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A South Street bodega suffered an armed robbery Tuesday. Witnesses told police a man came into JP Variety at 162 South St., brandished a small handgun and made the employee put cigarettes, cash from the till and more cash from the clerk's wallet into a plastic bag.

According to Universal Hub it was about a dozen packs of smokes.

The man fled on foot toward the Southwest Corridor Park, said Police Officer Rachel McGuire. Cops found his footprints ended in tire tracks.

Witnesses describe the robber as a white man, 30-32 and about 5-5 with a medium build. One witness said he wore a winter coat that was black with a grey panel on the bottom and white stripe between.

While police stress they can't link the cases, that does describe the coat seen in surveillance video of a man who robbed JP Auto Service at gunpoint on Saturday.

Tuesday's robbery came at 2:40 p.m. That makes two armed robberies in less than 72 hours along Centre Street. But residents might want to keep the big picture in mind — Overall, major crimes are down by 11 percent in JP for 2014.