Ohio Authorities Search For Gunman That Robbed Payless, Raped Store Clerk During Store Hours In Broad Daylight

West Columbus, Ohio – Authorities in Columbus, Ohio are searching for the man responsible for robbing a far west side Payless ShoeSource Thursday after sexually assaulting the store clerk during store hours in broad daylight.

At around 12:50 pm Thursday afternoon, according to investigators, the suspect walked into the Payless ShoeSource located 1918 Hilliard-Rome Road in a strip mall with other stores.

The suspect proceeded to act as if he was going to purchase shoes from the only employee on duty at the time, a 20-year-old female (her ID has not yet been released).

ABC6 reports the suspect pulled a gun on the store clerk when she turned her back to him and told her to open the safe in the back room. He then ordered her to take her pants off and proceeded to sexually assault the young woman.

After the assault on the store clerk, the suspect took $100 from the cash register and ran from the store.

Brittany Thomas cuts hair two doors down from the Payless and saw cops in the lot on her way in to work.

“That’s unnerving since a bunch of us girls work here,” said Thomas. “We are probably going to walk to our car in a group and carry mace.”

According to The Columbus Dispatch, authorities describe the suspect as a black male in his mid-20’s to early 30’s, roughly 6 feet tall in height and weighing approximately 180 pounds. He had a goatee and wore metal frame glasses, a black tank top, black shorts with white stripes.

Anyone with information about the armed robbery and rape call central Ohio Crime Stoppers at 614-645-TIPS or the CPD Sexual Assault Unit at 614-645-4701.

View the ABC6 special report by clicking here.