By Cade Fowler - bio | email
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A string of armed robberies had police in Albany and Leesburg very busy late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning. In less than four hours, three convenience stores and a restaurant were robbed at gunpoint. In each of the crimes, the suspects were described as young men with their faces hidden.
"With the time frame, it's a pretty good possibility they tried to hit everything in one night," said Sgt. James Vick with the Leesburg Police Department.
It all began around 10:40 Wednesday night at the Taco Bell on Slappey Boulevard. Witnesses say a young black man wearing dark hoodie with a stocking cap covering his face, entered the restaurant with a gun and demanded money. He fled on foot with the cash drawer in hand, leaving a trail of money behind.
"They probably cased the establishments prior to tonight," said Vick.
Two hours later in Leesburg, police were called out to the Flash Foods on U.S. 19. It would be the first of three Flash Foods held up in nearly an hour's time.
"We had three males wearing camouflage hoodies come into the store, all armed. They robbed the clerk of cash and lottery tickets," said Vick.
As police in Leesburg were wrapping up their investigation, three gunmen fitting similar descriptions struck a second Flash Foods on Oakridge Drive in Albany. This time the armed trio pointed guns at a clerk, handed a bag through a window and demanded cash before fleeing on foot.
Minutes later, it was two gunmen, one wearing a hoodie, the other a camouflage jacket, pulling off the same crime at a Flash Foods on Oglethorpe Boulevard. As with the other robberies, the suspects got away with an undetermined amount of cash.
With the suspects on the run, investigators are relying on information from witnesses and in-store surveillance video which captured at least one of the crimes on tape.
"We've got good video tape and good intelligence from the Lee County Sheriff's Departments' deputies that were on patrol and the Leesburg units," said Vick.
Police are saying they have received some information regarding two vehicles the suspects were believed to have driven away in but would not reveal the makes or models.
No one was hurt during these crimes, but the suspects are considered to be armed and dangerous. Police say it is still too early to tell if it is the same suspects behind all four hold-ups.