Baldwin gas station robbed at gunpoint

BALDWIN — A suspect is now in custody following the robbery of the Wesco gas station at Michigan Avenue and Seventh Street in Baldwin.

According to the sheriff’s department, the robbery took place shortly after 2 a.m. on Dec. 29 at the Wesco gas station in Baldwin. The alleged thief walked into the service station, pulled out a gun and demanded money and cigarettes. Only hours later, a suspect was arrested by the Lake County Sheriff’s Department for warrants on unrelated crimes.

“We had warrants on our suspect for safe-breaking and burglary in Mason and Macosta counties, though he not been officially charged with the Wesco robbery yet,” said Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts.

As he has not been charged with this crime, his name has not been released to the press, although the department is confident he is the culprit of the Wesco robbery. They have sent his clothes and other samples to the Michigan State Police for DNA confirmation.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department reported the suspect put money into a bag along with several packs of cigarettes stolen from the gas station. While fleeing the scene, the bag ripped and left a trail which sheriff’s deputies were able to follow to a nearby house. At the house, clothing was found matching those worn by the thief as seen by witnesses.

“This was a really good effort by our deputies,” said Hilts. “They got this wrapped up quickly so we can make sure this guy never does something like this again.”

Although hardly a crime-less community, violent crime is generally kept to a minimum in Lake County. Many residents in the area, Sheriff Hilts included, hope this crime will remain an isolated incident and life will be allowed to go on as normal.

“We’re too small a community for this kind of stuff to go on,” remarked Hilts. “If a crime like this caused a place that’s open all night and provides a lot of good service to residents to close down, it would really affect the people who live in the area.”