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2 arrested for armed robbery of downtown La Crosse gas station
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2 arrested for armed robbery of downtown La Crosse gas station

From the From Tribune files: Top crime stories of 2018 series
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A La Crosse man is accused of robbing a downtown gas station at gunpoint Friday evening and fleeing in a car driven by his girlfriend, according to La Crosse police reports.

A clerk at the Mileage gas station at 603 Cass St. told police she was preparing the close the business about 9:30 p.m. when a man approached the counter and paid for candy. He then showed a gun and demanded cash, according to reports.

She handed over $20 bills before he threatened to kill her and grabbed more bills from the register, reports stated.

The clerk followed the suspect out of the gas station and saw him enter a maroon van parked on the north side of the building.

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Police found the van immediately and ordered the occupants outside the vehicle after it parked at 612 S. Seventh St.

Officers found $159 stuffed in passenger Frank Lewis’ pocket, $80 between the passenger seat and door, and $213 under a floor mat, according to reports.

He denied being inside the gas station, although his girlfriend and driver of the van, Kymberly Cole, said he ordered her to drive away from the business in a hurry, reports stated. Lewis’ clothing matched the description of the robber.

Police also located a BB gun believed used during the robbery about 30 feet from the apartment building at 612 S. Seventh St. where Lewis lives. It was missing a grip that was found inside the van.

Lewis, 40, and Cole, 54, of 620 Car St., each face charges of armed robbery when they appear Tuesday in La Crosse County Circuit Court. Both are jailed on $10,000 cash bonds.

Anne Jungen can be reached at ajungen@lacrossetribune.com or follow her on Twitter at @LCTCrimeCourts.

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