ROME — A gas-station clerk was robbed and manhandled by a masked bandit who claimed to have a gun Thursday night, police said.
At 11:48 p.m., the Peoria County Sheriff's Office was called to Freedom Oil, 5530 E. Knox St. Minutes earlier, the business was entered by a man wearing gloves, a black mask, a black hoodie and black sweatpants with a stripe, said Joe Needham, chief sheriff's deputy.
The robber walked behind the front counter and approached the clerk, telling her that he had a firearm, Needham said. He then took the cash from the register, at least $600, Needham said.
He told the clerk to go to the back of the store, Needham said. As she tried to grab her cell phone from the counter, the robber "grabbed her and threw her," Needham said. He then threw her phone before hustling out the front door and vanishing on foot, Needham said.
The clerk told deputies that she believes the bandit is a regular customer, as his voice sounded familiar, Needham said.
An investigation continues.