By Joe Johnson
An armed robber Sunday morning got away with an unknown amount of cash from Walmart Neighborhood Market on Atlanta Highway, Athens-Clarke County police said.
The robbery occurred minutes after employees unlocked a side door near gas pumps 2 and 8 to open for business at 5:30 a.m., police said.
The employees reportedly told police a black male, who was approximately five feet, seven inches tall, wearing a black ski mask and black clothing entered that door and pointed at them a black handgun with an extended ammunition magazine and ordered them to lay face-down on the floor.
One of the employees, a 22-year-old Athens woman said the gunman demanded that she roll onto her back, at which time he removed her name tag/clock-in badge and made such reassuring statements as, “You fine sweetie, you will be okay,” according to a police incident report.
While behaving “very sympathetic” to her, the robber repeatedly threatened to shoot the male employee if he did not open the safe,” the report noted.
That other employee, a 39-year-old Dahlonega man, said he gave the robber money from the safe in addition to money he had already distributed to cash registers, according to the report.
Prior to leaving the store, the robber told the employees to remain on the ground and count to 20 or else he would “air the place out,” according to the report.
The report noted that officers unsuccessfully searched the area for the suspect.
Police are looking for a getaway car described as a light-colored Nissan Sentra with a dent on the rear driver's side bumper.