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Taylorville's Armed Robberies Already Exceed 2013's

Updated: Tuesday, January 28 2014, 10:56 AM CST
TAYLORVILLE - For the second time in a week, Taylorville Police responded to an armed robbery.

First, there was Thursday night's holdup of the Route Mart convenience store. Then on Sunday, police say two men held up another man in a Taylorville home. In a city like Springfield or Decatur, that wouldn't be unheard of, but for Taylorville and its just over 11,000 residents, it's a regular crime wave.

"We had one armed robbery last year," said Taylorville Police Chief Dave Herpstreith. "I don't believe we had any in previous years that I can recall off the top of my head, and now we've had two in 2014."

On Thursday, a masked man walked into the Route Mart carrying a revolver. He fired a shot in the ceiling and demanded the money in the register.

"I was froze," said Dipika Patel, who was working the register. "I didn't know what was going to happen."

The man shoved his gun into Dipika's face before making off with more than $1,000.

"This place is very safe," said Dipika's husband and owner of the store, Tejas Patel. "So we think that's never going to happen over here."

Police do not know yet if the two crimes are connected. In Sunday night's robbery at least, the suspects have been identified as Clint Emery, 22, and Michael Wicker, 31, both of Taylorville. Emery is already in custody and police are looking for Wicker.

Police have not named a suspect in the Route Mart robbery.

"If we can tie the two together that would be great, but we're still working towards that," Herpstreith said.

One crime that continues to grow in Taylorville is meth. Police made some manufacturing busts in recent months, but right now, Taylorville Police say there doesn't appear to be a connection between the armed robberies and drugs.

"Obviously we would look into that possibility," Herpstreith said. "And as the investigation unfolds it may or may not be, but at this time we don't believe so."

Residents were surprised by the crimes.

"Hardly anything ever happens in this town," said Larry Lockbaum, who lives near the home where Sunday's armed robbery occurred. "It's just one of those quiet towns."

But hopefully things will be back to normal soon.

"I hope it's not going to happen again," said Dipika Patel, who was working the Route Mart register when it was robbed. "That's always going to be a thought, but I hope it's not going to happen again."

If you have information on the Route Mart robbery or the whereabouts of Michael Wicker, call the Taylorville Police at 217-824-2211 or Christian County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-568-TIPS (8477).
Taylorville's Armed Robberies Already Exceed 2013's

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