No one was allowed to enter or leave five schools in Southington on Thursday morning after an attempted robbery was reported in the area.
Plantsville Elementary, Derynoski Elementary, Alta, Strong and Kennedy Middle schools were placed on "high alert" as of 10:15 a.m. School officials said the measures were "precautionary" as police were searching for the suspect in a gas station robbery.
An unidentified man entered the Citgo gas station, located at 202 Main St., around 9:45 a.m. Police said the man "pulled out a knife and walked directly to the counter." He demanded money, but the store clerk grabbed a stool to defend himself, which police said caused the suspect to run out of the store.
The clerk did not hit the suspect. Police said the clerk was not injured during the attempted robbery.
After searching the area, police were unable to locate the suspect.
The superintendent's office said "secure school mode" was activated, due to the location of the suspect and no direct threat was made to the schools. Classes continued as normal, but no one was allowed to enter or leave the buildings.
The alert was lifted later before noon.
Police said the suspect was wearing a black hat, dark glasses, bandana (black with a white design) covering the face, black hoodie sweatshirt and black sweatpants and white sneakers. He was believed to be carrying a "large knife."
The search for the suspect continues and police released a surveillance photo of him. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Southington Police Department at 860-621-0101.
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