Green Bay police release surveillance images of 'remorseful' armed robber

This surveillance image shows a man suspected of robbing a Speedway gas station and Dairy Queen in Green Bay Dec. 11, 2018. (Courtesy Green Bay Police Dept.)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WLUK) -- Green Bay Police are looking for an apologetic armed robber.

Both robberies were on Green Bay's east side Tuesday night. The Dairy Queen on the corner of Main Street and Irwin Street was hit at about 7:20. About three and a half hours later, the Speedway Gas Station on East Mason Street was robbed.

The suspect is a black man, who was wearing a puffy blue jacket and a black Milwaukee Bucks winter hat.

Dairy Queen provided FOX 11 with surveillance video where you can see how the armed robbery unfolded. It's what was said, that you can't hear on the video, that caught employees off-guard.

“He seemed to be very apologetic,” said Courtney Carlton, the co-owner of the Dairy Queen location. “He was very sorry for what he was doing.”

Carlton wasn't at the restaurant when the robbery happened. However, she says she was told the suspect apologized multiple times after her employee handed him all the money in the cash register.

“Before he went on his way he turned back again and apologized for what he was doing and he just said he was doing it for the best interest of his family,” said Carlton.

“This is very unusual,” said Capt. Jeremy Muraski of the Green Bay Police Department. “It's almost like his heart isn't in it, like he is doing it because, again, he's maybe going through something real challenging in his personal life.”

Not only did police find the remorse odd, they also thought it was strange the robber made zero attempt to cover his face.

“In our recent experience, it does appear that most of our armed robbers do make some attempts to conceal their identity, so I could say that is very unusual,” said Muraski.

Even more unusual, the robber gave one of the Dairy Queen employees a hug. Police advised Dairy Queen to not show us that part of their surveillance footage.

“It speaks to maybe the emotional difficulties that he is having right now,” said Muraski. “Obviously, he's having a rough time. Doesn't excuse the armed robbery. I don't want anyone to think we're all of a sudden going real soft on crime or anything like that, but at the same time it is very different from the demeanor we're used to seeing, which is usually highly aggressive.”

“I don't know why he would have chosen an ice cream store in winter,” said Carlton.

Carlton says she is just happy no one was hurt and hopes it doesn't happen to anyone else.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective John Peters at (920) 448-3208 and refer to case numbers 18-213886 and 18-213888. Anonymous tips may be left with Crime Stoppers by phone at (920) 432-7867, online or through the P3 smartphone app.

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