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Police hunting robbery suspect

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:45 PM

GREENWICH— A Shiloh man, still wanted by authorities, was indicted on allegations he brandished a gun at a Greenwich convenience store clerk and fled with an undisclosed amount of money on a bicycle.

James R. Porter, 28, was charged with one count each of aggravated robbery, robbery and theft in connection with the May 15 incident at the Mickey Mart at the intersection of East Main (U.S. 224) and Kniffin streets.

Greenwich Police Chief Kevin VerBurg said the suspect has not been arrested, but police received new, undisclosed information Sunday night about his possible whereabouts. The chief said authorities had Porter’s identity narrowed down within hours of the armed robbery, using “good old-fashioned police work.”

VerBurg declined to be more specific, but said interviews with neighbors were crucial to pinning the crime on Porter.

“We definitely appreciate the community involvement,” he said.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said authorities are “very interested” in arresting Porter and encouraged tipsters to contact the Greenwich Police Department at (419) 752-2681.

The clerk said Porter entered the store, tried to get change for a quarter and then told her, “Give me all the money in the register,” Leffler said.

“She said, ‘You’re joking,’ and then he pulled the handgun. Apparently he wasn’t joking,” the prosecutor added.

“We haven’t recovered (the gun) yet. If anybody knows the whereabouts of that, we’d like to know about it,” Leffler said.

The clerk told police she was so focused on the handgun, she wasn’t able to get a good description of the culprit or the small boy’s bicycle he rode while heading north on Kniffin Street. The clerk remains employed there.

“He tried to pull his coat over his head,” VerBurg said, adding that Porter used a relative’s bike.

Two sheriff’s deputies assisted VerBurg in searching for Porter for about 2 1/2 hours, checking behind garages and on side streets in the neighborhood near the crime scene. One person said he saw a person matching Porter’s description riding a bike a couple hours before the robbery, which remains under investigation.

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