Person in clown mask robs Breese, Illinois gas station

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BREESE, Ill. – As Halloween approaches, retailers need to be on guard against customers wearing masks. Are shoppers out for a good time or using a mask to cover their criminal identity?

The latest masked armed robbery happened at a Moto Mart in Breese, Illinois early Monday morning. Halloween seemed to be in play for the crooks and it was all tricks no treats.

People who live in Breese will tell you it’s a quiet community; that’s why they’re so shocked by what occurred.

“Hits me very hard. I just can’t believe that happening in a small town,” said resident Mary Zachary.

Breese police released photos of the two suspects: one wearing a clown mask the other is wearing a hoodie.

Police said the men entered the Moto Mart, one armed with a black pistol and the other suspect had a backpack. He emptied the register into that backpack.

“It’s scary. It’s not even safe in Clinton County anymore,” said Reggie Bauer, who lives in the area.

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Captain Bruce Fleshren said he’s investigated armed robberies involving masks before.

“I think people think they can get away with it more easily because it’s Halloween time,” he said.

A photo of the suspect’s car shows it is a dark blue sedan.

No one was hurt in the robbery. A $2,500 reward has been posted for information toward solving the crime.

“As we get closer to Halloween, there’s going to be more of these people,” Fleshren said.

He said as the autumn and winter holidays approach, there is usually an uptick in robberies.

Local police declined to be interviewed on camera but one said it would be a good idea for retailers to put signs in their windows letting people know that masks are not permitted inside the store.

“This day and age, sorry to say, you can’t trust anybody,” Zachary said.

The folks at Moto Mart said they have some of the best security around. They are constantly reviewing it and if needed updating it.

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