2 wanted after armed robbery at Dollar General in Columbia

(Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Columbia police need help identifying two armed robbers who terrorized a store full of employees and customers over the weekend.

Police said the men were wearing masks and rain ponchos when they entered the Dollar General Store on East James Boulevard around 8:30 a.m.

According to police, the men flashed handguns as they ordered two employees and several customers to the front of the store. At least one customer was pistol-whipped.

(Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)

“Armed robberies are such a violent crime. They are high risk, often for very little reward,” said Lt. Joey Gideon. “Armed robberies don’t typically get much cash at all, but they are such a risk, not only to the employees and customers, but to the offenders.”

After three long minutes, the suspects run to a waiting get-away car and leave.

A store employee immediately called 911 telling the dispatcher, “I was just robbed. Two guys. Two guns. I got about three customers and an employee with me.”

When asked by the dispatcher if the men fled in a vehicle, the employee said, “I don’t know. They told us not to come out the door. He said, ‘You come outside, we’ll shoot you. They were talking with a rusty voice – you know like disguising their voice. One called the other one Nino.”

Though shaken up, no one inside the Dollar Store was seriously hurt.

Police ask anyone who recognizes the men is urged to call 931-388-2727. Crime Stoppers is offering a reward for information.