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Suspects sought in Ashland gas station robberies

ASHLAND — A masked man robbed the Astro gas station on East Main Street early Tuesday and fled with cash after threatening the lone attendant, police said.

The same employee reported a similar robbery at the 449 E. Main St. station on Feb. 22. Police do not believe the same man committed both robberies, but it's possible the robberies are connected and that the two suspects know each other, said Sgt. Jim Alderman with the Ashland Police Department.

"The suspect description doesn't match," he said of the suspect in Tuesday's incident. "He had a different build. But that doesn't mean it's not somebody in that same circle."

The gas station attendant told police she was entering the office at about 4 a.m. Tuesday when a masked man in a hooded sweatshirt approached her and demanded money, police said in a news release.

The man showed no weapon but threatened her, she told police.

He took an undisclosed amount of money and fled, running north across Lithia Way and continuing north in an alley behind Rogue Federal Credit Union, Alderman said.

The suspect is described as white, in his early 30s and about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a heavy build. He was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, gray jacket and a red mask, police said.

In the February case, the employee said a masked man carrying a black gun demanded money at about 3:45 a.m. and then fled on foot with the cash. The robber was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a medium build. He was dressed in black and was wearing a black mask and gloves, the employee said.

Police have made no arrests in either case, Alderman said.

"We're working on leads don't have anything concrete as of yet," he said of the investigation into Tuesday's incident. "It doesn't sound like there's going to be a whole lot to go by."

Officers will increase patrols in the area surrounding the gas station, especially in the early morning hours, Alderman said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Ashland Police Detective Rick Spence at 541-482-5211, ext. 2172.