Police: Manager faked robbery at gas station near LSU, cleaned out safe
BATON ROUGE - Police arrested the manager of a gas station after they determined she faked a hold-up so she could steal money from the store's safe.
Arrest documents from the Baton Rouge Police Department say they were first called to the Exxon gas station at the corner of Nicholson Drive and Aster Street on Monday morning when Ishawna West, 36, reported she was robbed at gunpoint after showing up for work.
West told police the power was out at the store when she arrived around 6 a.m., despite the rest of the street appearing to have electricity. She said she was turning away visitors while she waited for Entergy to show up and fix the issue. Detectives later discovered the power had been shut off manually using a panel at the back of the store.
Around 7:30 a.m., after going inside to use the bathroom, she said two men appeared in the store and held her at gunpoint. West said she believed it to be an inside job, noting that the robbers knew she had the key to the safe. West also explained that the store was temporarily using an older model safe that opens with a key because the gas station had recently changed ownership, adding that the safe was set to be replaced with a newer model — one that cannot be opened by employees — the next day.
Police also said the safe had not been emptied for the weekend and had $7,500 inside it at the time.
Investigators reviewed surveillance video which showed West pulling up to the back of the store just moments before the power cut off. She's then seen driving to the front of the store.
Police were unable to retrieve video from inside the store due to the power being cut, but nearby surveillance cameras showed no one else going inside the store at the time of the supposed robbery, according to BRPD.
West was booked on charges of theft, obstruction of justice and injuring public records.
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