At around 2:30 p.m. yesterday, Greenville Police and Greenville Fire and Rescue responded to a robbery at Murphy Clothing Company on East Commerce Street.
According to store manager Betty Ray, who was out to lunch at the time of the robbery, the subject, armed with a butcher knife, entered the store and pushed clerk Maude Sims from behind and knocked her to the ground.
Ray said the suspect then told Sims to go into the bathroom and stay there. The subject then went to the front of the store to attempt to get money from the cash register. Ray said the subject then walked back to the bathroom and told Sims to go open the register. She said Sims opened the register and the subject took the money and other money from behind the counter. The subject also allegedly took Sims' purse and wallet.
Ray said the subject then told Sims to go back into the bathroom and said that if she came out of the bathroom before five minutes was up that his friend outside would come in and kill her. Ray said the subject then left through the back door and dropped the knife on his way out.
Ray said that when she returned from lunch she came through the back door to find the rack of clothes knocked over, Sims' purse on the floor and no sign of the employee.
"It was awful because there was a rack of clothes and her purse on the floor and I couldn't find Maude anywhere," Ray said. "God, I like to have lost it."
Ray said she found Sims in the bathroom, where she was hiding. "When I found her, I said Are you okay?' and she said I've been robbed.'"
At presstime, local law enforcement agencies were still searching for the subject, who, according to Sims, was a black male, approximately 5'10" – 6' tall, wearing a stocking mask and possibly blue jeans and a blue jean-type jacket.
Any individual with information about this or other crimes should contact Greenville Police Department at 382-7461, Butler County Sheriff's Department at 382-6521 or Butler County E-911 at 382-9911.