An armed robber fired a handgun at an attendant twice inside Granite Gulf Wednesday night, in a robbery of the service station. The employee was not injured, said Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin.
The robber, whose face was obscured with a scarf, fled on foot into the woods near Art's Towing. Milford and State Police searched that area with a police dog, but lost the trail.
The robbery was reported shortly after 7 p.m., when the service station was open for business and had customers at the gas pumps. The robber entered the office, and demanded cash from the attendant, O'Loughlin said.
The employee didn't immediately turn over any money, and instead entered the service bay area, where his boss was working, the police chief said. At that time, the robber fired one shot. Once inside the service bay area, the robber fired off a second round from the gun. Several employees were in that area of the business at the time. None was injured.
The suspect fled with an undisclosed amount of cash. He was described by witnesses as a white male, 6 foot to 6'2'' tall, thin build, dark hair. He was alone in the business, O'Loughlin said, but may have had an accomplice. He also was wearing blue surgical gloves when he entered the business.
The armed robbery in Milford is thought to be related to another robbery reported shortly before, at a Medway service station. In that incident, a man entered the business and demanded cash from an attendant, but the attendant disarmed him, O'Loughlin said. The weapon turned out to be an airsoft pellet gun.
"He grabbed it right out of his hands," O'Loughlin said, of the Medway robbery.
The two crimes are thought to be related based on the desciption of the events, and the timing, the police chief said.
At the Granite Gulf, the bullet from the first shot landed in the men's room, while the casing was in the women's room. Police were searching for the second bullet and other evidence inside the service bay Wednesday night, and the scene was being processed by State Police. Employees who were witnesses were being interviewed by Milford detectives.
Milford has had several armed robberies but this is the first in at least 18 months in which a suspect fired a weapon. Milford had eight robberies reported in 2011, according to statistics provided to the FBI.