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Raleigh police: Violence escalating in string of robberies

In once case, police say the assailant hit a store clerk and held a gun to her head. Investigators think eight cases could be linked.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Police believe a string of violent armed robberies and attempted robberies at stores and restaurants in the northeast part of Raleigh could be linked, and officials say they worry that the violence might escalate.

The six robberies and two attempted robberies – five of which have occurred on Capital Boulevard – date from Sept. 13 to Nov. 4:

  • Family Dollar, 4654 Capital Blvd., 8:25 p.m., Sept. 13 (robbery)
  • Handee Hugo, 5002 Capital Blvd., 1:48 a.m., Sept. 24 (robbery)
  • Your House restaurant, 5110 Capital Blvd., 4:54 a.m., Oct. 11 (robbery)
  • McDonald's, 5016 Spring Forest Road, 11:05 p.m., Oct. 16 (attempted robbery)
  • Wendy's, 4750 Capital Blvd., 1:01 a.m., Oct. 17 (robbery)
  • Spinx Exxon, 4301 New Bern Ave., 10:47 p.m., Oct. 30 (attempted robbery)
  • Subway, 6320-133 Capital Blvd., 9:40 p.m., Oct. 31 (robbery)
  • Subway, 5621-101 Louisburg Road, 8:37 p.m., Nov. 4 (robbery)
Police say the assailant had a knife In the Family Dollar case, implied he had a gun at the Handee Hugo robbery and displayed a gun during the other six crimes.

On several occasions, he acted aggressively toward store employees.

"Anytime a weapon is involved, particularly a firearm, things are just a split second from becoming much worse," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

In an Oct. 31 robbery at the Capital Boulevard Subway restaurant, police say the assailant hit the clerk and then put a gun to her head. During an Oct. 11 robbery at the nearby Your House restaurant, the assailant pointed a gun at workers.

"He came walking in, and he told everybody to shut their damn mouth and be quiet, and he pointed the gun at me," said Amber Waily, a cook at the restaurant.

"He went around to the side to one of the tables to a waitress and put the gun to her head and made her walk to the register to get the money out," she continued.

Police say employees saw a single assailant during the first five cases and two men in the last three.

Similarities involving the assailants' descriptions, the close proximity of the robberies and other factors lead detectives to believe they may be related.

Investigators describe the assailants in some of the robberies as black males in their teens or 20s, of thin build with light to medium skin tone and standing approximately 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall.

In other robberies, the assailant is described as being of a stocky build and standing about 5 feet 4 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Anyone with information that might help investigators is asked to call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.