Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Businesses Hit by Armed Robbers

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

3 Businesses Hit by Armed Robbers

Article excerpt

Byline: Dan Scanlan, Times-Union staff writer

Gunmen hit three Southside businesses Feb. 13 and stole an undetermined amount of money from the cash registers as well as employee's own pockets, in one case threatening to kill someone if the employees didn't find more money.

Meanwhile, police said they arrested an Arlington woman Thursday on armed robbery charges stemming from a November 2000 incident at Belk department store on Southside Boulevard.

The Feb. 13 robberies were all within a few miles of each other, and two of the incidents were at laundries. There are some differences, but Lt. Rick Emery, who oversees robbery cases in the area, said the laundry cases may be connected.

"They are very similar," said Emery. "He reached over and grabbed money from the register. He showed the gun in his pants both times. We are definitely looking into a connection in those two cases."

The first robbery occurred at 11:20 a.m. at VIP Auto Sales, 5936 Philips Highway.

Police said a man walked in and asked a 56-year-old employee to break a $100 bill. The employee said he could, but the man left, only to walk back in later with a gun. Aiming it at the employee, the police report said the man demanded "all your money" before ordering three other employees to empty their pockets of cash.

The police report said the gunman then said that "if he did not get more, that someone was going to get shot" and more money was handed over. After ordering everyone to lay down on the ground, the gunman fled.

Three hours later, police said a man walked into the Lakewood Maytag Coin Laundry at 1617 University Blvd. W. and asked to use the bathroom. The 57-year-old employee told the man to use one across the street and he left, only to return a few minutes later and pull out a handgun, reaching across the counter and grabbing money from the cash register. …

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