Rocky Mount, N.C. — Authorities in Nash and Edgecombe counties are asking for the public's help locating a man suspected of robbing a series of area businesses.
In a Nov. 24 robbery at the L&L Food Store, at 2558 Hunter Hill Road, Rocky Mount, police said, the suspect approached cashier Ann Toller.
“I went behind the counter, and said, ‘Can I help you?’ He said, ‘Give me a pack of Newport's,’” Toller recalled.
Toller said when the suspect asked for a pack of cigarettes, she asked him if he had an ID.
“He said, ‘No, but I'll tell you what, let's go on and open that cash register and give me all that money that's in there,’” Toller said.
Toller said the man was wearing a dark hat and coat, and showed her a black revolver with a brown handle. The man took the money and left the store.
Toller was not injured.
“I got three grand kids now you know. The youngest one is only a year old. He could have very well shot me for $180," Toller said.
Rocky Mount police have since identified the alleged robber as Daryl Devane Wilkins, 17, of 108 Lisa Court, Rocky Mount.
“He's entering the business, asking for a pack of cigarettes, and then when he distracts the clerk, he says it's a robbery, and asks for money and brandishes the firearm,” Capt. Laura Fahnestock, commander of the police department's Criminal Investigations Division, said.
Authorities said they believe Wilkins is visible in surveillance video from a Monday robbery at a Kangaroo Mart at 1830 N Wesleyan Blvd.
Police said they have also identified Wilkins in four robberies over the last 10 days, and suspect him in another five. Among those were robberies at two Griffins Food Marts, one on Benvenue Road and the other on West Mount Drive.
“This time of year, we always see some level of increase of robberies. It could be street crimes, or it could be businesses, but in this particular case, we think we have one suspect in nine of these cases. So that's a rare trend for this community,” Fahnestock said.
Police described Wilkins as 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighing about 170 pounds.
Anyone with information on Wilkins' whereabouts is asked to call Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111 or e-mail Fahnestock at Laura.Fahnestock@rockymountnc.gov.