Rent-A-Center robbed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2006

AHOSKIE – For the second time in a span of just four days, a Hertford County business has been robbed at gunpoint.

The latest crime occurred late Thursday afternoon at Rent-A-Center, located at the corner of Memorial Drive and Catherine Creek Road in Ahoskie.

According to Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh, his department is on the lookout for a black male, approximately 6’ in height and weighing 120-to-130 pounds. The suspect was wearing a long-sleeve burgundy striped shirt, blue jeans and brown boots.

Fitzhugh said the masked suspect, armed with a handgun, entered the front door of the business at around 5:10 p.m.

“He approached the customer service counter and demanded money,” Fitzhugh said. “The employee responded to the request and gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of money.”

Following the robbery, Fitzhugh said the suspect exited through a side door of the business (the door facing Catherine’s Restaurant) and headed west on foot.

A tracking dog called in from the Gates County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that escape route.

“The dog followed a scent from the side door of Rent-A-Center to the back lot area of Contractor’s Corner and on to Everett Street behind the NAPA store,” Fitzhugh said. “It was along Everett Street where the dog lost the scent.”

In the meantime, Ahoskie Police Officers, with the assistance of Hertford County Sheriff’s deputies, set-up a perimeter around the immediate area of Rent-A-Center. One person, spotted running through a wooded area at the end of Everett Street, was briefly detained.

“As things turned out, that person did not match the description of the suspect,” Fitzhugh said.

Ahoskie Police Lt. Michele Garrett is in charge of the investigation. Those with information concerning this crime are urged to contact the Ahoskie Police Department at 332-5011.

On Monday, a lone suspect walked into Jenkins-Brown Insurance in downtown Murfreesboro and robbed the owner at gunpoint. The suspect in that case was described as a black male approximately 5′-11&uot; in height, wearing a white t-shirt, black jeans and sporting a ‘doo-rag’.

It is not known if the two robberies are related.

A $5,000 reward, posted by a group of concerned businessmen, is offered in the Murfreesboro robbery. Those with information can call the Murfreesboro Police Department at 398-4151.