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Robbed after shopping: Officials urge people to be alert

Sunday, October 12, 2008

SIKESTON -- E-mails are circulating for people to be aware when grocery shopping in the late evening hours.

The e-mails allege someone is following people home after shopping, then robbing them. Those in law enforcement are unsure if that really is the case, but are taking the opportunity to remind people to be aware of their surroundings.

Two area incidents were reported Tuesday night. The Department of Public Safety was called in response to a robbery around 10:30 p.m. A man was attacked at his home while unloading groceries after leaving a Sikeston retail store.

Later that night, around 11:20 p.m., a female in Morley reported a similar situation. She told officers of being attacked outside her home while unloading groceries. The victim told authorities a vehicle pulled up in her driveway and two men got out an accosted her, showing a small semiautomatic handgun. She fought back, but the men were able to get away with her purse.

"It's still under investigation, and we're looking into whether it is a coincidence or he was actually followed," said Sgt. James McMillen, DPS public information officer, of the Sikeston incident. "As of this time, we don't have any reason to believe that the man was followed home."

It's a different story in the Morley case, which remains under investigation.

"The woman believes that these people followed her from (the store) to her house," said Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter.

Regardless, it's a good reminder for people to open their eyes to what is around them, law enforcement officials stated.

"If you go anywhere late at night, be careful, have your keys ready and be aware of your surroundings at all times," said McMillen. "And if you feel like you're being followed, drive to the police station or call."

Walter agreed. "If something doesn't feel right, go with your feelings," he said. "It may be nothing, but err on the safe side."