Published 5:33 am Monday, January 25, 2010
By By Adam Prestridge
Two men wanted for an attempted robbery at a downtown Atmore tax service Thursday evening remain at large, authorities said Friday afternoon.
According to Glenn Carlee, Director of Public Safety, two black males attempted to rob the Rapid Return Tax Service located at 102 N. Main St. just before 6:30 p.m.
Carlee said investigators spent most of the day Friday sorting through witness statements and surveillance footage in an effort to capture the suspects.
Dispatchers with the Atmore Police Department received the attempted robbery call at 6:24 p.m. Upon arrival, officers learned that a black male described as young, possibly in his early 20s with a stocky build entered the tax service leaving the front door open demanding money from the employee, who informed the assailant that there was no money on the premises. With the door ajar, the employee noted a second black male waiting outside.
The inside man, who was wearing black clothing including a hoodie shirt, demanded the money again and the employee this time offered to let him check behind the counter for himself. The employee then threatened to call the police if the suspect did not leave, who then threatened him harm with a weapon. The duo was then scared away and a manhunt ensued.
Tracking dogs from J.O. Davis/Fountain Correctional Facility were called to the scene to track the suspects. The dogs picked up a scent and tracked it north on Hwy. 21, Carlee said. APD officers and investigators assisted in the manhunt of the suspects for more than two hours, blocking off roadways and redirecting traffic, but they were never located.
The attempted robbery and manhunt has sparked additional downtown security efforts by the APD.
Although the department will be beefing up patrols, Carlee does not believe there is an added threat of robberies within the city.
“This is an isolated incident,” he said. “Most of these tax services do not keep money on hand, but we want the businesses to feel free to call us and we’ll escort them. We’ve always done this and any time they want an escort to their vehicle, just call us a few minutes before they close.”
If you have any information about the robbery attempt or you would like after-hour assistance from APD, call 368-9141.
Sports Editor Chandler Myers contributed to this story.