Crime

Masked bandits in recent store holdups may be same person, police say

Police are asking the public's help to find this suspect in a Dollar General armed robbery on Dec. 29, 2016. The masked man targeted the store on O’Neal Road just west of Mississippi 605.
Police are asking the public's help to find this suspect in a Dollar General armed robbery on Dec. 29, 2016. The masked man targeted the store on O’Neal Road just west of Mississippi 605.

Masked armed robbery suspects in recent holdups of two dollar stores may be the same person, police said.

Police released pictures Monday of suspects in the Saturday night holdup of a Family Dollar store and a Dec. 29 holdup at a Dollar General store.

“It appears to investigators that they’re the same person and they are hot on it, trying to identify the suspect,” police Sgt. Joshua Bromen said.

The latest armed robbery occurred about 8:38 p.m. Saturday at the Family Dollar at 13137 Dedeaux Road. The store is just east of Lynn Avenue.

The disguised suspect wore dark clothes when he walked in to the store displaying a gun, Bromen said.

No physical description was being released of the suspect, but Bromen said additional information will be released as the investigation continues.

The suspect, a teenager or a man, left on foot with an undisclosed amount of money, but police don’t know which way he went, Bromen said.

The Dec. 29 holdup occurred about 8:44 p.m. at the Dollar General at 11330 O’Neal Road. That store is just west of Mississippi 605.

The suspect in that armed robbery is black, 18 to 25 years old, 5-feet-4 to 5-feet-5 and weighs 130 to 150 pounds, Bromen said. That masked suspect wore a black jacket, black pants and dark-colored gloves.

The person should be considered armed and dangerous, Bromen said.

Anyone with information on either crime is asked to call the Gulfport Police Department at 228-868-5959 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898. Or tipsters can give a tip online at mscoastcrimestoppers.com.

Saturday night’s holdup is at least the eighth armed robbery of a dollar store in Harrison and Jackson counties since October. And it’s the second at a Gulfport dollar store in less than two weeks.

Police typically increase patrols around stores after armed robberies and plain-clothes officers visit stores in case another robber should show up, Bromen said.

“But there’s a whole lot of dollar stores around,” he said.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews

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