Armed robber hits Oak Harbor convenience store, public's help sought
By JUSTIN BURNETT
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
February 16, 2012 · Updated 9:22 AM
Oak Harbor police are on the lookout for a man who robbed a convenience store clerk at gunpoint this morning.
Estimated to be in his 20s, the suspect is described as a light-skinned black male about five-foot, nine-inches tall. He left the store wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, jeans with distinct white stitching near the back pockets and large white rimmed sunglasses.
According to Lt. Tim Sterkel of the Oak Harbor Police Department, the man should be considered armed and dangerous. If spotted, the public should not attempt contact but call 911.
The robbery happened shortly before 9 a.m. at DK Market along Highway 20. Store clerk Scott Lamb said the man approached the counter with a Monster brand energy drink and asked for cigarettes.
Lamb turned away for a moment to grab a carton and when he turned back, the man had a gun.
"He pointed it at my face and told me he was going to kill me unless I got the register open," Lamb said.
As he fumbled with the buttons, Lamb said the robber got impatient and began counting. Once he finally got the drawer open, the man grabbed the cash, the cigarettes, the Monster energy drink and bolted out the door.
He was last seen running across Highway 20 behind Burger King. The area was soon buzzing with police and an exhaustive search ensued that ranged from Dillard's Addition to Flintstone Park on Bayshore Drive.
"We surrounded the whole area," Sterkel said.
However, the man appears to have made a clean getaway. Sterkel said he couldn't be sure, but it's believed he got into a car and drove away before police arrived and began their search.
Detective Ron Hofkamp has been assigned the case and anyone with any leads or details is urged to contact him at 279-4600. Sterkel said armed robberies are rare in Oak Harbor.
DK Market owner Kihwan Kim said he's owned the store for the past 12 years and this is the first time he's been robbed. However, Lamb said it wasn't a new experience for him. He once worked in a donut shop in Las Vegas and was robbed twice.
But there were several things that stood out from this experience. For one, he joked that the man's white rimmed glasses made him look a little like rock star Lenny Kravitz. He also recalls that the man didn't appear nervous at all but was both calm and collected.
"Naw, he wasn't nervous," Lamb said. "He was cool as a cucumber."Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Justin Burnett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-675-6611 ext. 5054.