WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) - Wyoming police are searching for a man who tried to rob a gas station early Tuesday morning.
It happened around 1:45 a.m. at the Admiral gas station on S. Division Avenue near 32nd Street.
A woman was working at the gas station alone when a man wearing a tan hat and a white bandana over his face came into the store and pointed a gun at her, according to Wyoming police.
The woman ran out the back door, which tripped the station's alarm system. She then ran to a nearby home to call police.
Sarfraz Khan, who lives at that home, told 24 Hour News 8 that he was awake when the woman arrived at his door, screaming and crying. Khan said she and asked him to hide her because she was scared the man would follow her out the back door and shoot her.
"She said this guy had a gun in his hand and he was brandishing this gun and he was saying, 'Give me all your money, give me the money,'" Khan said.
When officers arrived at the gas station, the man was gone. Police said nothing was reported missing.
Khan said he couldn't understand why the woman was working alone, late at night, especially in light of what recently happened to Jessica Heeringa. Heeringa was abducted while working late at night from a gas station in Norton Shores in April. Investigators still haven't been able to find her.
"We are not concerned with the store, we are concerned about the life of this young lady, " Khan said. "He could have shot her. He was at point-blank. He could have done anything to her."
On Wednesday, a manager at the gas station said they would put a second worker on late at night, so clerks wouldn't have to work alone.
But when 24 Hour News 8 contacted Admiral's corporate offices, the president of the company, Dennis Lemmen, wasn't available. The vice president of the company also did not return a message left by 24 hour News 8.
Wyoming police said that unlike the Exxon station in Norton Shores where Heeringa disappeared, the Admiral station had video surveillance cameras.
However, police said that due to some sort of problem, they haven't been able to get any images from those cameras.
24 Hour News 8 also asked Wyoming Police Department Capt. Kim Koster what gas station owners should do in situations where they don't have the money to staff the overnight shift with more than one employee.
"Like I said, that's understandable," Koster said. "And there are other measures that can be taken. It's kind of on the employee to determine if they feel safe accepting a job where they're working alone late at night.
If you have any information about the attempted robbery, call Wyoming police at 616.530.7300 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.
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