Gas station employee recalls early morning robbery

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Police are investigating a string of armed robberies that happened within two hours.

It began at a liquor store at 1517 N. Arlington Ave. at around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. A McDonald’s was robbed on Interstate 70 near Mount Comfort Road in Hancock County just before midnight.

Three men wearing masks also robbed a Speedway gas station on 10th Street and German Church Road at around 1 a.m. Thursday.

“I just knew I had to be calm,” said Lauren Holton, the clerk. “I didn’t want anybody shooting.”

The 19-year-old was working the overnight shift Thursday morning. Her boyfriend, Delon Owens, came to check up on her.

“When he was about to leave, I had him give me a hug. We turned around and there were three of them coming in the door saying, ‘You know what time it is?'” she said.

One of the men was holding a long gun. Lauren was forced to open the cash register, while another man suddenly hit Owens.

“I was putting some money in the bag, I saw from my peripheral that [Delon] got hit with the gun and fell,” said Lauren.

Owens was hit on the forehead and lip. The three men ran off with cash, cigarettes and Lauren’s phone.

“[The robber] was like, ‘Come on, shoot this girl’, but he didn’t. He just went over and left,” she said.

About 45 minutes later, three masked men tried to enter the Speedway on 62nd Street and Allisonville Road. Nicholas Russell, a customer, stopped them but was punched in the face.

“I just confronted them, aimed forward and forced them out the door. They never got into the store,” said Russell.

Police are investigating to see if the incidents are related. They’ve also released pictures from surveillance video from two Speedway gas station robberies that happened on Tuesday.

Lauren is now looking for another job.

“What if I had gotten shot?” she said. “Life is not worth losing over a couple hundred dollars and some cartons of cigarettes and a phone. It’s not worth it.”