Investigators: Bainbridge robberies are linked -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Investigators: Bainbridge robberies are linked

By Christian Jennings - bio | email

ALBANY,  GA (WALB) – Three clerks were robbed at gunpoint Monday night during yet another armed robbery in Bainbridge. It's the second one in Decatur county this week, and the eighth unsolved armed robbery in the past several months. And it's getting scary especially for convenience store workers and even customers.

Everyone is hoping the crime spree will stop soon before some gets hurt even killed. Three clerks at the Zip Trip in Bainbridge were caught off guard when two masked men rushed in their store with guns and demanded money.

With their hands in the air the clerks quickly led the crooks to the registers. Next, the robbers forced the Patel family to their office where they gathered more money, then shoved them in a back refrigerator before they bolted out the store. 

"It's getting real bad, and I honestly think it's because we don't have any jobs here in Bainbridge." Keisha Perkins works at the Quick Buys on Whigham Dairy road. Her store was robbed earlier this week.

"They came in, caught here off guard and handcuffed her to the door," said Perkins.

That's two armed robberies in just seven days in Decatur county. That makes six armed robberies in the past couple months. And two others back in July. All unsolved.

"The robberies we believe are linked together based on the descriptions, weapons used, tactics," said Major Wendell Cofer, Decatur County Sheriff's Office.

The string of robberies has many convenience store employees afraid to come to work, especially after the sun goes down.

"We work on edge. Every time someone pulls in the parking lot everyone looks.

Customers aren't exactly comfortable either. Bad for business, when business is already taking a beating. "After the other robbery it was really slow. They're scared, they come in and get out," said Perkins.

Sheriff's deputies say they believe they've identified some of the culprits and are close to making arrests.

"We think it's a group of about 6 or 8," said Cofer.

"I really do want them to catch these guys cause it makes it real hard for the stores to operate," said Perkins.

For now they'll do they're best, always a little weary of just who is walking through their front door. Investigators say the robbers are smart they aren't leaving very much forensic evidence on the scene.

Law enforcers call it the CSI effect, they say crooks watch TV shows like CSI, learn from them, and become more cautious about leaving fingerprints and other traceable evidence behind.

 In last night's robbery no one was hurt but one of the suspects did fire a round during the robbery. They got away with more than $4,000.

If you have any information on any of the recent armed robberies, call the sheriff's office, police department, or the GBI. They're working together to solve them.

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