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2015-01-14 / News Briefs

Pumping pleasure: Gas prices fall below $2 at local stations

Michael Buettner

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the Richmond metro area has fallen below the $2 level for the first time in nearly six years and is expected to remain below last year’s levels throughout 2015.

According to Chesterfield based travel club AAA Mid-Atlantic, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gas fell to $1.99 on Saturday and continued to drop, hitting $1.97 on Monday. It was the first time the local average was below $2 since May 2009.

Some outlets in the area had prices significantly below the average. Big-box discounters Costco and Sam’s Club were both pumping gas for $1.75 a gallon on Monday in Midlothian, while numerous convenience store chains were offering prices as low $1.83 in Chesterfield.

Monday’s regional average was $1.21 below the average price on the same date last year.

“The average price at the pump is likely to remain below $3 per gallon in 2015, as long as the price of crude oil does not significantly fluctuate upward,” according to AAA. “Gas prices may see seasonal increases this spring as refineries undergo maintenance, or this summer as demand increases during the busy summer driving season, but those higher prices should be much less than in recent years.”

The nationwide average price for a gallon of gas was $2.15 per gallon over the weekend, down $1.16 from a year ago. The national average has declined for a record 107 consecutive days.

Chester pizzeria robbed at gunpoint

Armed robbers held up a Chester pizza restaurant over the weekend, and police are asking for the public’s help in tracking them down.

Police said two men entered the Pizza Express at 11852 Chester Village Drive around 10:15 p.m. on Sunday. The men approached a clerk, displayed a gun and demanded money. After receiving the money, the suspects fled the scene.

The suspects are described as white males, both about 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing about 150 pounds. Both were wearing black pants and tops.

Anyone who has information is asked to call the Chesterfield County Police Department at 748-1251 or Crime Solvers at 748-0660, or text the code WATSON and send to 274637 (CRIMES).

Police look for leads in VSU holdups

Police are seeking the public’s help in solving a pair of armed robberies at Virginia State University last fall.

Police said both robberies took place on Oct. 16 on the university’s campus in Ettrick.

In the first incident, a man was reaching into the trunk of his car in parking lot 36 when he was approached by several hooded suspects. He was ordered to his knees and robbed at gunpoint of his wallet and electronic devices. One of the suspects struck the victim in the face with a gun before all three fled the area.

Soon afterward, a second robbery occurred in the parking lot of the Monroe Hall dormitory. As a resident was walking from the parking lot to the dorm, he saw a newer, champagne-colored four-door Honda Civic approach. A black male got out of the vehicle, pointed a gun in the victim’s face and ordered him to his knees. The victim heard a gunshot but was not struck, and the suspects drove away quickly.

Police said there were at least three black male suspects involved.

Anyone who has information is asked to call Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Crime Solvers at 748-0660, visit crimesolvers.net or text WATSON plus the tip to CRIMES (274637).

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