Four robberies in less than a week in Cumberland County have police concerned that they are dealing with a serial robber. Three have happened in Mechanicsburg, and another close by in Lower Allen Township.
The Robberies happened as follows:
Thursday October 10 at 7:52 p.m. the Pizza Hut on the 600 Block of East Simpson Street in Mechanicsburg
Friday October 11 at 7:50 p.m. The Lucky Mart on the 1100 Block of East Simpson Street in Mechanicsburg
Sunday October 13 at 7:30 p.m. the B&H MArt on the 3600 block of Simpson Ferry Road In Lower Allen Township
Monday October 14 at 8:22 p.m. the Sun Up store on the 100 Block of North Walnut Street in Mechanicsburg
Police say in the robberies the suspect had on the same attire. ” In all robberies he wore a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, wore gloves, and a red mask. He is a white male. Obviously we think this guy is going to hit again. While we can’t discount the possibility that these may be unrelated individuals, the evidence to date certainly leads us to an investigative hypothesis that this is one person that will continue to commit robberies,” said Mechanicsburg Police Chief David Spotts. “The more robberies committed by the same individual the more concerned we are about it.”
Nobody has been injured in any of the four robberies by Chief Spotts said people need to be aware of their surroundings. “His modus Operandi has been go in the store and confront the clerk. He’s not after customers. There has been no indication that he has been targeting customers. Certainly there is a cause for concern. Always be aware, be alert of your surroundings. If you get that little bell in the back of your head saying something is wrong here, something is not right, drive away.”
Chief Spotts said the man appears to spend a period of time outside of the store before he makes his entry. if anyone sees anything suspicious they are asked to call police. “We would rather come out 100 times and check things and find out everything is ok, than not have that one call where there is a real problem and somebody didn’t call us. So if you see something suspicious please call,” said Chief Spotts. His message to the suspect: “Turn yourself in before it gets worse.”
In surveillance video from one of the stores the thief can be seen looking in the window several times before making his move. You can see a very frightened clerk put his hands up and follow the robbers demand to hand over cash. “He was watching for a while. He was observing the movements. And as soon as he gets the chance he moves in. With a gun pointed at his head,” said the owner of one of the stores, who did not want to be identified.
The owner says they are taking extra safety precautions in case the man returns. “We are keeping low money. we are just more aware, going out and keeping an eye around.” She said employees are now terrified, including herself. “When it happened the guy [clerk] just passed out because he was so scared. The next morning when I came here it was scary. I came here and my legs were shaking getting in. I am scared. I mean you never know. And he is in the neighborhood. “It could be drug related, trying to steal to support a habit, it could be some type of thrill thing, it could be somebody who wants to get caught.”