BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KMOX) – A 20-year-old man had a brush with armed robbery on a MetroLink platform in the Metro East Wednesday night.
The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. at the Memorial Hospital station in Belleville.
A man asked the victim if he could use his cell phone. When the victim refused to hand over his phone, but offered to make a call for the suspect on speaker, the suspect became irate.
The suspect reportedly said he had a gun and tried to reach into the victim’s right-front pants pocket to grab the phone.
St. Clair County Sheriff’s Captain Bruce Fleshren tells KMOX the victim ran away while the suspect returned to the platform.
“When he tried to take the phone away from him, our victim ran off the platform, called 911 and turned around and saw that the suspect that had approached him jumped on the train and left the area,” Fleshren explains.
The train the suspect boarded was headed for St. Louis. Investigators are reviewing surveillance video.
Fleshren recommends politely declining if someone approaches you and asks to borrow your phone.
“That’s probably more than he (the victim) should have gotten involved in. I’m sure he was just trying to be nice and help the guy out,” Fleshren says.