Three violent armed robberies in Albany overnight - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Three violent armed robberies in Albany overnight

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –A frightening night of violence across Albany.

Home invaders shot one man, and armed robbers hit two convenience stores overnight.

All three crimes were committed by three armed men, and Albany Police are now trying to determine if this crime spree was the work of one gang. But these violent crimes have convenience store workers and hispanic families in fear.

Robbers targeted two Flash Foods stores. They have not released the surveillance video of the two robberies yet, but people who have seen both say there is no doubt that the same trio of armed robbers pulled both jobs. But before they were robbed, an East Albany man was shot in the stomach by three men who burst into his home.

About midnight three men kicked in the back door of this home on Morningside Drive in a home invasion robbery. There were 8 people in the home, including four children. 47 year old Juan Gaspar rushed the gunmen with a knife, and was shot in the stomach. Gaspar's Pastor said obviously robbers are targeting Hispanic families.

Pastor Anna Moored-Thomas said "I think one of the reasons because they think they don't have a bank account, so they think they carry their money in their hands. So that is why they rob them."

His Pastor said Gaspar had surgery overnight, and is expected to recover fully. But after several East Albany robberies targeting Hispanics, she said they are trying to get their members to move to safer neighborhoods.

Moored-Thomas said "They really scared. The children are being afraid, especially with the shot last night. There were kids inside, screaming. It was really awful. It was really awful."

About 3 AM three men with bandanas over their faces and all armed with pistols robbed the Flash Foods on Gillionville Road. Police say one of the robbers held a gun against the clerk's head, while they took cash and cigarettes.

30 minutes later three masked men wearing the same type clothes robbed the Flash Foods on North Slappey. Again they took cash and cigarettes.

Convenience store workers are concerned that surveillance cameras do not seem to be a deterrent to crooks.

Woodall's owner Wright Woodall said "I think it's one everybody's mind at 2 or 3 in the morning, when someone's out. And I think customers would rather go to a busier, well lit location. And I think that's your biggest deterrent."

The only description for the robbers was they were all black, and their clothing. All were wearing dark shorts. Two had white shirts, and one had a dark shirt.

All the convenience store clerks we talked with today said they are frightened when gunmen this bold are still at large. Woodall said that there is really nothing they can do to safeguard themselves. That when a gunman is going to rob you, he is going to rob you.

Police are not ready to say these three robberies were committed by the same gunmen. They are looking for a 90-s model dark green Honda as the possible get away car.

If you have any information, call CRIME STOPPERS at 436-TIPS.

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