Correction 2:26 p.m. 2/21/13: This story previously incorrectly stated the St. Louis Park Police Department requested that St. Louis Park High School go into lockdown.
The St. Louis Park High School was put on lockdown for an hour Thursday morning as city police combed the area looking for an armed robber.
A little before 6:30 a.m., police received a report of an armed robbery near a bus stop at the corner of Minnetonka Boulevard and Hampshire Avenue. The suspect, described as a black man about 5 feet, 5 inches tall and wearing a dark-colored mask and hoodie, brandished a pistol at a pedestrian and demanded their phone and wallet.
According to schools spokesperson Sarah Thompson, the high school went into lockdown at 6:30 a.m., as police began their search. The lockdown was ended at 7:30 a.m.
"Due to the proximity of this morning's crime, the St. Louis Park Police Department contacted the St. Louis Park Public Schools to inform them of the incident," city spokesperson Jamie Zwilling wrote in an email to Patch. "As a precaution, the St. Louis Park Police Department conducted a K-9 search of the general area out of an abundance of caution and determined that the suspect was not in the area."
In a separate email to reporters, Zwilling said the suspect behind Thursday's robbery was also a suspect in a similar incident from Wednesday morning. That robbery occurred at the intersection of Minnetonka Boulevard and Colorado Avenue, at about the same time of day.
A $500 reward is being offered for information that could lead to the arrest of a suspect or suspects in the two crimes.
To reduce the chances of becoming a robber's target, police recommend you should:
- Be aware of your surroundings, especially if you are alone.
- Have your cell phone readily accessible and report any suspicious persons and/or activity immediately to the Police. Call 911!
- Do not carry large sums of cash or unnecessary credit cards, and keep your purse zipped.
If you become a robber's victim, police recommend the following:
- To ensure your safety, fully cooperate with any orders these suspects give.
- Call 911 immediately or as soon as the suspects leave. Even seconds can make a difference in catching a suspect.
- Do not touch or disturb anything that a suspect may have touched or that has been part of the crime scene.