Suspected armed robber chased by victim, gets away

Friday, December 21, 2012

By T.S. Strickland

Police are investigating an armed robbery that took place in a Subway parking lot here Tuesday afternoon.

Blake Osborne, 31, of Eureka Springs, told police a man had stolen $120 from his car while he threw away trash in the store.

As he left the building, Osborne told police, he witnessed Samuel Alburtis, 23, reach into his vehicle and take the cash from beneath his wallet, which was sitting on the center console.

Osborne reportedly yelled at Alburtis, who then jumped into his own vehicle and waved an approximately eight-inch-long blade at him before speeding off.

Undeterred, Osborne got in his own car and pursued Alburtis through the Historic Loop, meanwhile calling police.

As he spoke with Carroll County dispatchers, Osborne said Alburtis was throwing glass and wood out his windows -- in an apparent attempt to flatten his tires.

Just before the two reached the two-lane bridge on Highway 23 South, Alburtis pulled off the road and left his vehicle. There, Osborne told police, he once again began waving the knife and goading Osborne to leave his own car.

Instead, Osborne backed off the road -- later telling police he feared being attacked.

Police Chief Earl Hyatt said Carroll County Sheriff's Deputy Jennifer Sibley -- who was off duty at the time -- had responded to the 911 call.

She reportedly arrived on the scene in time to witness the second encounter. According to the police report filed by Officer Brian Young, Sibley watched from across Highway 23 as Alburtis threatened and taunted Osborne. However, the reports indicates she did not leave her vehicle or intervene.

Alburtis saw Sibley, jumped back into his vehicle, and sped away down County Road 222.

Hyatt said the department was in the process of securing a warrant for Alburtis's arrest Wednesday afternoon.

Sheriff Bob Grudek had previously indicated that the robbery was a "drug deal gone bad." However, Hyatt said he had no evidence to suggest this.

"We are treating it as an armed robbery," he said. "We don't have any information to the contrary."

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