Friday, July 23, 2004

5 robberies might be linked

Each case has similar description of gunman

By Travis Gettys
Enquirer contributor

Police are investigating whether five armed robberies in the last week could be the work of one criminal.

In each case, witnesses described the robber as a white man between 5-feet, 2 inches and 5-feet, 6 inches and weighing between 140 and 150 pounds.

The robber covered his face with a bandana or a ski mask, pulled a large pistol and demanded cash.

"All the characteristics are very, very similar, and the description of the suspect is almost identical," said Casey Kilgore, a Fort Thomas police detective.

The most recent robbery occurred Wednesday at 10 p.m., when a man matching that description held up Airport Liquors at 793 Donaldson Road in Boone County, before fleeing on foot toward Turfway Road, said Boone County police spokesman Tom Scheben.

A similar robbery took place Tuesday at 8 p.m. at a Blue Pantry gas station, 7230 Turfway Road.

After Florence police released a description of the suspect, Cincinnati police contacted them about a possible link to a robbery they're investigating.

"That one seems to match the basic description of the one in Cincinnati," said Sgt. Lenny Cloyd of Florence police. Cincinnati police were not available for comment.

Suspects in two robberies last week in Fort Mitchell and Fort Thomas match that description, as well.

A surveillance camera filmed a white man, about 5 feet, 4 inches, wearing a blue and gray hooded sweatshirt and a scarf, as he robbed the Citgo gas station on Royal Drive in Fort Mitchell July 15 at 1 a.m.

He carried a large, black pistol with a wooden grip and demanded money, witnesses said, and he got away with $90.

The next day, July 16, a white man, between 5 feet, 4 inches and 5 feet, 6 inches and wearing a blue or black hooded sweatshirt and a blue ski mask, robbed the BP gas station at Highland and Grand avenues in Fort Thomas at 2:30 p.m.

The robber walked directly to the counter, pointed a dark-colored, semiautomatic pistol at the clerk and demanded money, Kilgore said, as a customer watched. The robber placed $350 in a plastic grocery bag.

Police said clerks and customers each time behaved exactly as they should during a robbery. "They should remain calm and cooperate," said Fort Mitchell police chief Steve Hensley.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.

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