Alleged Convenience Store Bandit Apprehended This Morning in Bootheel

FEBRUARY 27, 2006 - Posted at 8:09 a.m. CST, updated at 1:51 p.m. CST, updated at 3:50 p.m.

CARDWELL, MO - Southeast Missouri authorities have arrested a 39-year-old Harrisburg man suspected in at least two weekend robberies at Region 8 convenience stores.

Matthew Shipman was arrested this morning while filling his vehicle up with gas at a convenience store near Cardwell, Missouri,  Shipman is considered the prime suspect in the early Saturday morning robber of a Flash Market convenience store near the Arkansas-Missouri state line in Dunklin County.  The suspect allegedly struck a store clerk in the head with a heavy object, possibly a wrench.

He is also suspected in a similar weekend robbery at a convenience store in Harrisburg, and/or a liquor store near Tyronza.

RED ONION, MO - Authorities in Dunklin County are investigating the early Saturday morning armed robbery of the Flash Market convenience store at Red Onion, just northeast of the Arkansas-Missouri state line.

According to Sheriff Bob Holder, his office received a 911 call at approximately 3:45 a.m. from a caller identifying himself as a customer at the store.  The caller said an unidentified white male had entered the store and struck the clerk in the head with an unknown object, possibly a wrench, knocking her to the floor.

The suspect is described as being approximately 6-feet-3 inches tall with brown hair.  He was wearing a flannel shirt and blue jeans at the time of the crime, and left the crime scene driving a silver or gray two-door Pontiac Grand-Am.  Authorities did not reveal what, if anything, the robbery may have gotten away with.

The store clerk was taken to Arkansas Methodist Medical Center in Paragould, where she was treated and released.