Armed robbery

This still from surveillance footage from a Dec. 19th convenience store armed robbery on 24th Street West shows the robber, wearing a hooded coat or sweatshirt, walking into the store. The Billings Police Department and the Breakfast Exchange Club are asking for the public's help in identifying the robber.

As part of an ongoing joint effort to crack unsolved cases, the Billings Police Department and the Billings Breakfast Exchange Club are asking for the public's help in identifying the man who robbed a West End convenience store at gunpoint last December.

In an effort to bring extra attention to the case, the BPD has released surveillance footage from the robbery, which happened Dec. 19 at the Cenex station at 1031 24th St. W.

Police reports indicate that the robber walked into the store a little after 1 p.m. with a bandana covering his face and pulled what appeared to be a plastic bag with a handgun in it out of his pocket before demanding cash from the employee at the cash register.

The employee gave cash from the register to the man, who left and ran to the west and into a residential neighborhood.

The robber is described as a Hispanic or Native American man in his mid to late 20s, weighing 130 to 160 pounds and 5 feet, 4 inches to 5 feet, 6 inches tall. He has dark brown or black hair, brown eyes and was wearing a blue bandana over his face, a black headband, a green or gray plaid hooded sweatshirt or coat and blue jeans.

Surveillance footage released Thursday shows the four-minute robbery from several angles. The robber can be seen walking into the store with his face covered and perusing aisles while the clerk helped customers.

At one point the footage, which does not include sound, appears to show the robber looking at an item before stuffing it into one of his pockets and moving on.

The robber then makes his way to the counter area and waits a few steps back, with his head down, while the clerk finishes with a customer.

When the customer leaves, the robber approaches the counter and brandishes what police said was a handgun before leaving with money from the cash register.

The footage also shows a man outside the convenience store appear to notice that a robbery is taking place and pulling back a woman as she tries to walk through the doors.

Nobody was injured in the robbery.

The Breakfast Exchange Club, a local service organization, and the Police Department occasionally team up to bring extra attention to unsolved cases, with the club offering extra reward money for information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

"Somebody who does a crime like this, if we can get one good lead that nets an arrest and conviction, odds are it's going to prevent another crime like from the same person in the future," said Rod Ostermiller, a club board member.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Crimestoppers, anonymously if desired, at 245-6660. Tips leading to a conviction could result in a cash reward.

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