Rash of robberies prompt warning

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 19, 2006

AHOSKIE – The rash of armed robberies continues.

Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh is asking Ahoskie business owners and citizens to be on high alert after the town suffered its second armed robbery since Thursday of last week.

The latest crime occurred at 4:54 p.m. on Monday when a lone gunman robbed Nationwide Insurance on Church Street. The amount of money taken was undisclosed.

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“The gunman made an employee lay on the floor while forcing another to retrieve the money,” Fitzhugh said.

Fortunately, no one was injured, but Fitzhugh still worries that the longer these crimes drag on, the more opportunity there is for injury.

“This person has yet to hurt anyone,” Fitzhugh said. “We need to put him behind bars before he does.”

The suspect is described as a black male with a dark complexion and slender build. He stood approximately 6’ tall and weighed between 130-140 pounds. He also had a moustache.

He was wearing a blue, long-sleeve shirt (with a white stripe) bearing a Nordica symbol with blue jeans, white sneakers and a black ball cap. The suspect pulled a mask over his face upon entering the business.

Fitzhugh said the description and the MO (Method of Operation) were identical to Thursday afternoon’s robbery of Rent-A-Center at the corner of Memorial Drive and Catherine Creek Road. There a lone gunman made off with an undisclosed amount of money in a robbery that occurred at 5:10 p.m.

The suspect description and MO were also similar to a robbery that occurred on Monday, Oct. 9 at Jenkins-Brown Insurance Agency in Murfreesboro.

The string of robberies prompted Fitzhugh to ask for the help of business owners and the general public.

“The business owners need to be aware that this is occurring during a certain time of the afternoon n roughly between 4:45 p.m. and 5:15 p.m.,” Fitzhugh noted. “I would urge all business owners and employees to be on the lookout for a person that may be lurking outside your door or in your parking lot. If you see that occurring, don’t hesitate, pick-up the phone and call us (332-5011) immediately.”

The Chief also asked citizens to be on the lookout.

“We need extra sets of eyes,” he stressed. “If you notice something out of the ordinary, don’t wait for something to happen, call us and call us quick.”

Fitzhugh said his department was actively investigation both Ahoskie robberies and tracking down all leads. He promised an increase in patrols.