Rock Hill store clerk robbed by armed suspect who asked for cigarettes, cops say

A Rock Hill store clerk was robbed at gunpoint Thursday morning by a man who first asked for cigarettes before stealing the store’s money, police said.

The armed robbery happened around 12:15 a.m. at the Shell store and gas station in the 1700 block of Saluda Road at the city’s southern edge, said Lt. Michael Chavis of Rock Hill Police Department.

The suspect showed a handgun to the employee before taking money from the cash register and forcing the clerk into the back of the store, Chavis said.

The victim was not hurt, Chavis said. The clerk told police the suspect first asked for carton of Newport cigarettes but was told there were no cartons available, according to a Rock Hill police incident report. The suspect then asked for a carton of Newport Red variety before showing the clerk the gun and demanding cash, police said.

The incident was captured on store surveillance video, police said. The suspect wore a black knit cap, black pants and shirt and black boots, police said.

The case remains under investigation but no arrests have been made, Chavis said.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.