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Police: Man accused of holding up shoe store may be linked to two other area robberies

Friday, February 9, 2007

A Cape Girardeau man accused of robbing the Payless Shoe Source, 3437 William St., Saturday morning may be linked to two other robberies, police say.

Gregory D. Williams, 32, of 321 Albert St., is charged with first-degree felony robbery. Police allege he tied up the store manager of the Payless Shoe Source, 3437 William St., threatened her with a gun and robbed the store's safe of $60.50.

Williams is in Cape Girardeau County Jail on a $100,000 bond, said Cape Girardeau police Sgt. Barry Hovis.

Now police are seeking first-degree felony robbery charges against Williams for two other Cape Girardeau robberies.

Police believe Williams is responsible for armed robberies at Sally Beauty Supply, 155 Siemers Drive, Suite 7, on Dec. 24 and at the Dollar General Store, 64 S. Plaza Way, on Jan. 6.

The three robberies had similarities, Hovis said.

In all three cases, the suspect reportedly tied up store employees with wire and brandished a gun in two incidents and an item one store employee thought might be a gun, Hovis said.

Hovis said police had enough evidence to seek charges against Williams for those robberies, but did not divulge details Thursday.

According to the probable-cause statement, Williams reportedly entered the Payless shoe store and selected a pair of boots he placed on the counter of the business where the store manager was. Williams reportedly asked the manager to show him where he could find a different size of the boot.

When the two were in the men's shoe section, Williams allegedly grabbed the manager and pulled out a handgun, pointed it at her and said if she cried or screamed she would "not make it home." The report said Williams escorted her to a back room of the store where he reportedly ordered her to get on her knees and face away from him while he tied her hands behind her back with a piece of wire. After tying her ankles together, he had her lie face down on the floor and reportedly removed three rings from her hand.

After allegedly instructing the manager to give him the safe combination, he opened the safe behind the counter, removed the money and left the store.

Hovis said as Williams left the store, he passed a customer entering. That customer found the bound manager and called police at about 10:20 a.m.

On Sunday afternoon, an officer noticed the composite sketch of the suspect created from the victim's description Saturday matched that of a suspect police had in a holding cell, Hovis said.

That suspect was Williams, who police had arrested about 4 p.m. Sunday after a call about a disturbance at his residence.

The store manager identified Williams as her assailant from a photo lineup Sunday and he was arrested for the robbery, Hovis said.

carel@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127


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