Lawmen believe the same man who robbed two stores early last week — one at knifepoint, the other with a handgun — hit a store on Tebeau Street Friday evening and a store in Waresboro early Saturday night.
The Waresboro store was staked out at the time, but the robber was able to get in and get out and to elude capture, said Ware County Sheriff Randy Royal.
Royal said Sgt. Robert Weekley was conducting surveillance at a store at 3505 Lovett Road in Waresboro about 7:40 p.m. Saturday when he saw the silhouette of a man walk out of the darkness and enter the store’s front door. Royal said other deputies in the area were alerted as Weekley repositioned his patrol car across the street from the front entrance.
Moments later the man ran from the store and Weekley pursued him on foot for about 400 feet. The robber pointed a gun at Weekley, then ran into a wooded area behind the store, said Royal.
Tracking dogs from the Ware County Sheriff’s Department and Ware State Prison were brought in, but after a short distance they lost the trail, Royal said.
Royal said the Georgia State Patrol helicopter with search lights responded as lawmen on the ground set up a perimeter, but the man was able to get away. The copter stayed for about 30 minutes before abandoning the search, he said, adding that all motor vehicle traffic in the area was stopped while the search was conducted.
The 27-year-old male clerk told deputies the robber, a white man wearing a mask over his face and chin and a dark-colored hoodie, walked in and pointed a gun at him and demanded money from the cash register, said Royal. After getting the money from the store’s cash drawers, the robber walked out of the store and ran west behind it, he said.
The robber was said to be wearing dark jeans and black and white tennis shoes, said the sheriff.
Meanwhile, Waycross police reported an armed robbery Friday at 7:33 p.m. at a store in the 1000 block of Tebeau Street near the State Street intersection.
Capt. Benji Hersey said a white male wearing a blue hoodie, dark pants and a black mask on his face entered the store and pointed a gun at the clerk, demanding money. The clerk complied with the robber’s request and he got away with an undetermined amount of cash, Hersey said.
“We believe this is the same man who has committed the robberies in the county,” said Hersey.
Hersey said several officers responded to the area with tracking dogs and trailed the man for a short time but he was not located.
Previous robberies have occurred at basically the same time of day by a man wearing the similar clothing. They included one on Sunday, Nov. 6, when a man wearing a partial face mask, gloves and a dark hoodie entered a convenience store in the 2000 block of Albany Avenue armed with a large butcher knife and robbed a clerk of cash from a register, Royal said.
He was described as a white male, 6 feet tall, dirty blond hair and blue eyes, wearing acid washed jeans and black skateboard shoes.
On Monday, Nov. 7, at about 8 p.m., a man of similar description armed with a gun entered a store in the 2900 block of State Street (near Wacona School) and got away with an undisclosed amount of money, said Royal.
After the foot chase Saturday in Waresboro, a dark colored hoodie was found abandoned near a creek bed that police believe belonged to the robber, Royal said.
In the store at the time of the robbery were two female customers and one male customer. Royal said none of them was harmed during the robbery and neither were employees of the store.
“This is the third such incident we have had in the county,” said Royal.
Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact lawmen at 287-4327 or call 911.