Myrtle Beach area police investigate five business robberies, possibly the same suspect

troot@thesunnews.comJanuary 27, 2014 

Area police are searching for a man who fits the description of a suspect in at least five armed robberies that occurred at a bank, grocery store and three pharmacies during the weekend.

“At this time we are working with other agencies on the possibility of them being connected. Clearly from the pictures and descriptions it appears to be the same suspect and we will all continue to work together to confirm this and get the suspect identified,” Conway police Lt. Selena Small said Monday morning after a bank was robbed in the city.

Police have released video surveillance photos from each robbery, showing a man with a similar build and features.

The man has brown hair and mustache and wore a green hat during at least two of the incidents. Witnesses in the robberies estimated the man weighs about 170 pounds and stands between 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, according to the descriptions in the police reports.

Officers were called at 9:08 a.m. Monday to the BB&T Bank branch at 2300 U.S. 501 East, for a robbery, Small said. A man robbed a teller and then ran from the bank.

Police are searching that area for the suspect.

On Sunday, two Myrtle Beach businesses were robbed by a man, who also fit the same description and used a note during the crimes.

Officers were first called about 8:45 a.m. Sunday to CVS at 512 S. Kings Highway for a robbery where the robber put a toothbrush and note on the counter or the clerk, police said. The note said “give me all our money.”

The clerk said she looked at the man and he then pulled out a gun from his pants waistband and ordered her to give him the money or he’d shoot her, according to the report. The clerk said she took the cash register drawer out and put it on the counter and the man took the cash and then left the store.

The second robbery occurred that afternoon at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Rite Aid at 7800 N. Kings Highway, police said. In that robbery, the clerk said the man got a trial size bottle of mouth wash and trial size tube of toothpaste and put it on the counter along with a note that demanded money from the register, according to the report. That clerk said she also looked up at the robber after reading the note and he reached toward the front of his pants and demanded all the money.

The clerk gave him the money from her register, which was estimated to be about $300, and the robber left the store, according to the report.

On Saturday Horry County police were called at 9:15 p.m. to the Rite Aid at 1905 S.C. 544 for an armed robbery, according to a police report. In that robbery, the suspect came into the store, went to the counter and gave the clerk a note and asked her to tell him where directions were for the location.

When the clerk opened the note it read: “I’m robbing you,” according to the report.

The clerk said the robber demanded money from the cash register and he lifted his shirt to show her a handgun in his pants waistband.

Officers searched the area but did not find the robber, according to the report. Horry County police spoke to Conway officers and learned the robber’s description fit that of a man who robbed a Food Lion store at 2290 U.S. 501 about 3 p.m. Saturday.

In that robbery, a man went into the store, presented a handgun to the clerk and took cash before he ran out and was last seen leaving in a burgundy or red pickup truck, Small said.

Myrtle Beach police Capt. David Knipes said anyone with information about the robberies or the suspect should call police.

“There is a strong likelihood that some if not all of these robberies were committed by the same suspect,” Knipes said. “Multiple agencies are working together to investigate these crimes to try to develop a suspect.”

Anyone with information about the robberies or may recognize the man can call Conway police at 248-1790, Horry County police at 915-TIPS and Myrtle Beach police at 918-1911.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723, or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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