Louisburg, N.C. — The Franklin County Sheriff's Office is offering a $2,000 reward for help identifying a gunman suspected in at least five armed robberies in recent weeks.
The crimes date back to Dec. 9, and the most recent holdup was New Year's Day at the Family Store in Youngsville, Sheriff Jerry Jones said.
The Murphy Express Store and Duke's Mini-Mart in Louisburg and the Family Store and Rainbow Garden in Youngsville were also robbed. In each case, the gunman struck shortly before closing time.
Betty Jo Kanneg was working at Duke's Mini-Mart on Christmas Eve when the robber held up the store.
"I thought, what a rotten thing to do to someone on a holiday," Kanneg said, adding that she was terrified when the man pointed his gun at her.
"I thought I was going to have a heart attack," she said. "What would have happened, if something had happened to me, to my family?"
Jones said the gunman has used a blue mask to cover his face in at least one robbery.
"We're not dealing with an amateur, I don't believe," he said.
He said stores and businesses in the area should on heightened alert and that the community's safety is his top priority.
"There are a lot of armed people in Franklin County. We want to do justice. We want to find out who this is, get him in and let the courts handle him," Jones said. "The last thing we want to have is a shootout."
Kanneg said she hopes he's caught soon.
"He needs to be stopped before he really does hurt someone," she said.