For the second time this year, a store clerk has been beaten and robbed at a Sumter grocery store.
A man in his 50s was taken to the hospital after he was reportedly attacked behind the store counter and struck repeatedly in the head by a man wearing a ski mask in the course of an early morning robbery Wednesday.
At 7:15 a.m., the robber reportedly entered Lee's Grocery at 404 S. Lafayette Drive armed with what a release from the Sumter Police Department described as an "unknown weapon."
He demanded money from a clerk behind the counter, and when the clerk apparently didn't respond fast enough, the robber reportedly struck him several times in the head with his weapon. The thief then took an unknown amount of money from behind the counter and fled the scene.
Police responded to the store, and the clerk was transported to Tuomey Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for some minor cuts on his head. He has since been released.
Sumter police are still searching for the suspect, described as a black male standing between 5 feet 5 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighing approximately 150 to 175 pounds.
The same store has already been struck by robbers earlier this year. About 8:30 p.m. on March 18, two men entered the store, one wearing a ski mask and one wearing a bandanna over his face, and forced two clerks to lie down on the floor. The robbers reportedly stole money from the register and several cartons of cigarettes, and one of the men reportedly hit one of the store employees and stole his wallet.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the Sumter Police Department at (803) 436-2700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC (274-6372). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward.