$3,000 reward offered in armed robbery

  • This photo taken by security cameras at the Grog Shop shows the robber entering the store on Dec. 26 carrying what appears to be a Snakecharmer .410-caliber shotgun.-Photo provided, Homer Police Department
  • This enlarged version of a photo taken by security cameras at the Grog Shop shows the robber entering the store on Dec. 26 carrying what appears to be a Snakecharmer .410-caliber shotgun.-Photo provided, Homer Police Department
  • This photo taken by security cameras at the Grog Shop shows a side view of the robber entering the store on Dec. 26 carrying what appears to be a Snakecharmer .410-caliber shotgun.

Investigation is continuing into the armed robbery last Thursday of the Grog Shop, a Pioneer Avenue liquor store. Citing the ongoing investigation, Homer Police Chief Mark Robl declined to say if any suspects had been identified.

The owner of the Grog Shop, Mel Strydom, has put up a $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man who robbed the store at gunpoint on Dec. 26. CrimeStoppers also offers up to $1,000 for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.

People with information about the robbery can call Homer Police at 235-3150 or CrimeStoppers at 800-478-4258. Tips also can be submitted at peninsulacrimestoppers.com.

A man armed with a shotgun and wearing a ski mask and sunglasses held up the store about 10:45 p.m. the day after Christmas, taking an undisclosed amount of cash. The man came and left on foot, Homer Police said in a press release. Only the cashier was in the Grog Shop at the time, and he was uninjured, Robl said.

Surveillance video cameras inside and outside the store caught images of the robber.

Robl described the suspect as a white man about 6 feet to 6-foot-2-inches tall, of stocky build. He wore blue jeans, a dark jacket and a knit hat with sunglasses that obscured his eyes and face. There appeared to be some kind of reflective logo on the left sleeve of the jacket, Robl said. 

The robber wore gloves and brown or tan lace-up boots. He carried a single-shot .410 caliber, 

short-barrel shotgun similar to the Snakecharmer brand commonly used on halibut fishing boats to kill large halibut.

In videos of the robbery, Robl said the man carried the shotgun openly and did not attempt to conceal it as he entered the store.

“I think given the nature of this kind of gun, it could be hidden under the jacket without any kind of trouble,” Robl said. 

Robl said he did not want to release other details about the case. Strydom also said police had asked him not to discuss the case.

“We have to keep some things confidential that only the suspect would know,” Robl said.

Strydom said that the Grog Shop does not keep large amounts of cash in the till.

“The biggest thing you can do to prevent it (burglaries) is not keep a lot of cash on hand,” he said. “I’m emphasizing that with my employees.”

This is the third time the Grog Shop has been robbed at gunpoint and the second time in about a year. On Dec. 17, 2012, a Homer man, James Mumey, 52, held up the store using a cheap .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and took beer and cash. Police recovered some of the cash near the scene as well as what appeared to be a homemade explosive device. An informant gave police information that led to arresting Mumey. Mumey was caught a day later. He pleaded guilty last May to second-degree robbery, a felony, and was sentenced to a year in jail. 

The Grog Shop had been previously robbed in the 1980s, Robl said. 

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.

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