Armed robberies reported at three 7-Eleven stores in Norfolk

7-Eleven in the 8400 block of Chesapeake Boulevard Jan. 6, 2016. (Photo courtesy: Facebook/Javier Lee-Alexzander Ingé‎)

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Police are investigating armed robberies at three 7-Eleven stores in Norfolk, Wednesday night.

The first call came in at 8:44 p.m. for an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven in the 1200 block of Redgate Avenue.

The second robbery was called in at 9:07 p.m. for an armed robbery at the 7-Eleven in the 1100 block of Colonial Avenue.

The third call came in at 9:56 p.m. for an armed robbery at the store in the 8400 block of Chesapeake Boulevard. Earlier in the day, around 2 a.m., an employee at this location was shot during a robbery. Police have identified a suspect in that specific robbery.

In the first two robberies, a man entered the store armed with a gun and demanded money from the clerks. After receiving an undisclosed amount of cash, the suspect fled prior to police arrival. Police say in the third robbery, the man entered the store and quickly ran out before receiving any cash. A manager said he believes the suspect was caught by surprise because a security guard was working at the time. He said the store expects to continue to have a security guard there.

The suspect in the first two robberies is described as a black man in his mid to late 20s, around 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants, black gloves, a black mask and carrying a black backpack.

The suspect in the third robbery has been described as a black man around 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, khaki pants, and a black and a white bandanna covering his face. He was also seen carrying a black backpack.

In all three cases, no one was injured.

Police have not said if these robberies are connected.

If you have any information about these robberies, please call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP℠.

A former police officer tells 10 On Your Side the stores can be particularly vulnerable because part of their appeal is being accessible, meaning they’re open at all hours and typically don’t have bars on the windows.

Officials at 7-Eleven’s corporate office released this statement:

“The safety and well-being of our 7-Eleven employees and customers is of utmost importance. Every 7-Eleven store in the United States is equipped with security surveillance cameras so we can improve the safety of our guests, store employees and franchisees, and aid law enforcement officials in their pursuit of criminals. 7-Eleven has a policy of sharing security surveillance camera footage with law enforcement.” -7-Eleven

7-Eleven has created a comprehensive crime-deterrence program that is constantly updated to minimize crime at our stores
Cash levels are kept low in our stores
7-Eleven has upgraded the lighting inside and outside the stores
7-Eleven has upgraded camera systems at our stores
7-Eleven has dedicated resources to investigate and liaise with local law enforcement to resolve robbery incidents and works closely with law-enforcement agencies not only to deter crime at our stores but also in the neighborhoods we serve
Personal safety devices are used to alert our alarm monitoring company who in turn notifies the local police of an event

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