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Employees recognized gas station robbery suspect

Workers at a southwest Columbia gas station recognized the man suspected of robbing the store last week as a frequent customer and former employee, police said in court documents.

Christopher A. Scott, 23, of Columbia, was arrested last week and charged with first-degree robbery, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

Columbia police said in a probable cause statement that a man in a black hooded sweatshirt and black ski mask carrying a gun robbed the store at about 11 p.m. Jan. 28.

The man ordered the cashier to open the safe, but she couldn’t because she was nervous, so the robber opened the safe himself after placing his gun on the counter, according to the statement. The cashier told police she recognized the robber as a regular customer and a store manager later identified the man as “Chris,” who had worked at the store in 2016, police said. “Chris” was fired for stealing scratcher’s tickets, the manager told police.

Police identified the gun through surveillance video and matched it to a gun belonging to Scott that was seized from Scott’s brother in Jefferson City in 2017, according to the statement. Authorities searched a residence that Scott “frequents” on Bellview Drive near the station and found items used during the robbery, including the gun, police said.

Scott was set to be arraigned Monday. He remained in the Boone County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond. No lawyer was listed for Scott in online court records.

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