Gunman makes off with $20,000

By Ed Brock

A gunman met employees of a Southlake Mall store in the parking lot and robbed them of $20,000 on Monday.

Around 9:12 a.m., the manager and an employee of Downtown Locker Room, a sportswear store in the mall, were going to the manager's car with the proceeds from Friday and Saturday night's sales to deposit in the bank, Morrow Police Lt. John Bennett said.

"When they exited the mall in the Sears south parking lot they were approached by a black male with a gun," Bennett said.

The man took the money and the manager's car. As he drove away toward Mt. Zion Road the gunman was followed by another person believed to be an accomplice. The accomplice was driving a burgundy 1996 or 1998 Jeep Cherokee Laredo with dark gray molding.

Shortly after the robbery police recovered the manager's car on Port A Prince Drive, which is a short distance from the mall.

"Part of the incident was caught on the security camera at the mall," Bennett said.

Those security cameras were installed in the mall's parking lot in late 2003, Southlake Mall spokeswoman Andrea Brinkman said.

Brinkman also said the mall's security department is working with Morrow police on the investigation.

"We're always working to increase our security presence," Brinkman said.

Bennett said the gunman was in his mid to late 20s and was wearing a green Nike Trek jacket, stood 5-feet 10-inches tall and weighed around 170 pounds.

Investigators have no description of the driver of the Jeep and no license plate number for that vehicle.

Marcus Williams, owner of the Nubian Bookstore in the mall, said he saw a lot of police cars at the mall this morning and wondered what was happening. He said he didn't plan to change what he does in taking his deposits to the bank.

He already goes at irregular times, Williams said.

"I've been here six years and I've had no problems," Williams said. "To me it seems like an inside job."

Bennett said they have no information to indicate that an employee of the store had anything to do with the robbery.