Lawrence police are seeking the public's help in finding a man who robbed a local shoe store and raped a clerk before fleeing on foot on Friday night.
In a statement released Monday, police said the man hid inside Payless Shoesource, 3231 Iowa, and surprised two female store clerks a few minutes after they closed the store at 9 p.m.
One of the clerks tried to call 911 but was stopped by the suspect, police said.
The man pointed a large silver handgun at the women, police said. He demanded money from the store and struck one of the clerks in the head with the gun, police said.
The clerks gave the suspect the money. He then ordered them to the rear of the store.
The suspect locked one of the clerks in a bathroom, then raped the other clerk, police said.
A Kansas Highway Patrol trooper who was in the area saw the suspect leave the store. The trooper checked inside the store to see if there was a problem and discovered the robbery, police said.
Officials believe the man ran east across Iowa Street.
He was described as a 25- to 35-year-old black man, about 6-foot weighing 180 to 200 pounds with short black hair. He was wearing black trousers, a red T-shirt with white lettering and dark sunglasses.
Police are asking anyone who has information about the incident call the police department, 841-7210, or Crime Stoppers of Douglas County, 843-TIPS (8477).
-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.