PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been a scary week for store clerks in Portsmouth — there were six robberies over the last seven days, three of which happened in 24 hours.
As detectives try to piece together each case, they’ve released surveillance pictures and video so that the public can help identify the suspects. So far, police have not said if any of the robberies are related, but they aren’t ruling out that possibility.
“We tell our business owners: make sure your employees understand don’t fight, don’t resist,” said Detective Misty Holley, a spokeswoman for the Portsmouth Police Department. “This isn’t a norm for us. This is a trend, and we’re trying to find out if this is one individual or a group of individuals doing this.”
Last Friday, the 7-Eleven store in the 5000 block of Portsmouth Boulevard was robbed. Two days later, it was the Miller Mart in the 2700 block of Airline Boulevard. Another two days and the Exxon in the 700 block of London Boulevard was hit. The Family Dollar in the 3400 block of George Washington Highway was robbed two days after that, on Thursday.
Then the pace picked up. Within 24 hours, the Rodeway Inn on London Boulevard was robbed. And there wasn’t even a full hour before the next incident.
“About 30 minutes later, there was an additional robbery, and that happened in the 3200 block of George Washington Highway, which is shortly down the street from the Family Dollar,” Holley said. “The suspect walked in, produced a handgun, told the employee he wanted money, then, when he got the money, he left on foot in an unknown direction of travel.”
In all six robberies, no one has been injured. Police say, if you’re the victim of a robbery, think less about being a hero and more about being a good witness instead.
“Take note of how tall they are, how big they look to you, what they were wearing, were they on foot, which way did they head, did they get into a car, was there someone around who was watching,” Holley said.
She said there have been some subtle differences in the suspect descriptions, in terms of weight and height. In three instances, the gun was said to be silver, but in the other three robberies, it was black.
If you know anything that could help police solve these cases, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP℠.