Elkin Police said a dangerous suspect is still on the loose after the first armed robberies the town has seen in more than a decade.
The robberies occurred Oct. 17 at the Dollar General Store on Brookfall Dairy Road, Nov. 15 at the Aladdin’s Hallmark on North Bridge Street and Thursday at Advanced Electronics on CC Camp Road.
Chief Monroe Wagoner with Elkin Police said the suspect wore a mask and carried a black semiautomatic handgun in each robbery. The suspect also forced employees into a back room in each robbery and told them to wait, Wagoner said.
“He had the gun out and would point at you at certain times to get your attention if you were trying to think about doing anything,” said William Roundtree, one of the employees forced into a back room at Advanced Electronics.
One of the employees was hit in the head by the suspect’s gun, Roundtree said.
The suspect has stolen cash and cell phones in the robberies, Wagoner said. The suspect also appeared to know when business at each of the stores was slow, Wagoner said.
“They are highly visible locations, but the timing was at times when there wasn’t that much traffic in the area,” Wagoner said.
Ronnie’s Firehouse Grill and Cafeteria sits between the targeted Dollar General and Hallmark stores. Restaurant owner Ronnie Wilmoth said the robberies have made him nervous, and he’s stepped up his own protection.
“We now keep our back door locked. We don’t go outside without somebody going to the car with them or the dumpster with them,” Wilmoth said.
Wagoner has called for assistance from the SBI as his own force increases patrols.
“We just hope and pray for best that the weapon will not be used,” Wagoner said.
The suspect in each of the crimes was described as a black male, about 5’7″ tall with a slim build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt in the incidents, and police consider him armed, unafraid and dangerous.
A suspect vehicle seen at Advanced Electronics was described as a dark colored, Nissan-like vehicle, police said.
Police are looking at store surveillance video as their investigation continues. Anyone with information on the incidents or the suspect’s whereabouts is asked to call Det. Mendy Peles at (336) 835-9853.