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Local store owner robbed at gunpoint

By By SHERRY DIGMON
Advance Staff Writer
Business owner Ed Cole was robbed at gunpoint Thursday evening as he was closing his business. Cole owns North Main Quick Stop on highway 21 just north of Atmore.
According to Escambia County Sheriff Tim Hawsey, the incident occurred at approximately 8:30 p.m., April 12. Cole told investigators that he and Robert Starks were going out of the store to lock the doors when two males pointed handguns at them and demanded that Cole and Starks "give us the money."
One of the robbers grabbed a sack from Starks' hand, then both of robbers ran in different directions.
Unbeknownst to the robbers, the sack contained the remains of Starks' lunch, not money. In fact, Cole and Starks told investigators that neither of them had any money on them.
Atmore Police and Alabama State Troopers responded with the Sheriff's Office to set up a perimeter around the area. The tracking dogs from Fountain Correctional Facility were brought in and quickly picked up the trail.
"A few moments later, the Atmore Police were dispatched to a suspicious person call a few blocks from the robbery," Hawsey said in a statement. "Police officers located a 14-year-old black male behind a house. Further investigation revealed a pistol matching the description of the one reported in the robbery in the suspect's possession. It was at that time the revelation was made that the gun was not real, but a toy or a fake. It looked exactly like the real thing."
The teenager was taken into custody and transported to the Atmore Police Department where identification was made. He was then transported to the Juvenile Detention Center in Baldwin County. The other robbery suspect had not been located at press time.
"The patrol division of the Atmore Police Department was very helpful during the initial investigation," Hawsey said.
The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff's Office.
Suspects' names where not released since they are minors.