Downtown store robbed Friday

Published 10:27 pm Friday, January 16, 2009

When a gunman entered Stephanie Mitchell’s West Washington Street boutique on Friday demanding money, Mitchell remained calm and enlisted the help of a higher power.

“I was calling on Jesus,” she said.

The man – described as black, possibly in his 30s, wearing a green coat and a black hat and weighing between 240 and 270 pounds – entered the store about 11:25 a.m.

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“He just walked in and was waving his gun,” Mitchell said. “I just had my hands up, and I was praying.”

Mitchell said the man was in the store about five minutes. After taking an unknown amount of money from the register, the robber went into the store’s back room, where Mitchell’s friend Arnold Watson was sitting.

“He told me to ‘spill it,’” Watson said. “I said, ‘What are you talking about?’”

That’s when the man turned around and fled the store, Watson said.

The boutique is located in the Washington Mall, and Mitchell’s store has a window that looks out onto West Washington Street.

Mitchell said that she is certain the man will be caught – one way or another.

“God’s going to get him,” she said. “I ain’t going to worry about it.”

If anyone has any information about this crime, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP. Callers to the Crime Line never have to give their name or testify in court and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.