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Robbery suspect arrested after returning to crime scene hours later

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BELLEVILLE, IL (KTVI)-- Any crime story fan will tell you the suspect almost always leaves behind some clue.  But Thursday a suspected armed robber left more than a clue,   He actually returned to the scene of an early morning holdup.  The clerk who had been on duty overnight when the robbery occurred was still there at 7am and recognized the suspect.

It happened at the Circle K Shell gas station and convenience store in the 2700 block of West Main in Belleville.  A man with a gun demanded cash from the lone clerk at 2:40 am.  He left with cash and police were unable to locate him.

Less than five hours later the suspect returned to the same store and workers called police to tell them the man was back.   Police converged on the business and were able to stop a vehicle with the suspect and other adult males inside.  All three were taken into custody.

'We`re conducting an armed robbery investigation,' said Belleville Detective Mark Heffernan.   'Alcohol was a factor in this case and we are waiting until the individuals we have in custody are sober to conduct interviews,' he explained.  Police expect to take the case to the state`s attorney on Friday.

Heffernan noted it is fairly unusual for a suspect to return to the crime scene.  'We`re glad that it worked outand we have these individuals in custody,' he said.
He praised the store staff for being attentive and calling police quickly when they spotted the suspect back in the store.

'Any time a weapon is presented during a robbery it is a potentially very dangerous situation for the clerkand he appropriately didn`t interfere and complied with the suspect`s demands,' the detective said.

Betsey.bruce@tvstl.com
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