The New Year’s weekend here was one fraught with armed robbery.
Two convenience stores on opposite sides of town reported robberies Friday.
Employees at the newly built Dollar General store on McCartney Road on the East Side called police about 7 p.m. Friday after a young man wearing a hooded sweat shirt robbed the store at gunpoint.
The store manager told police he watched the man on surveillance camera enter the store with his face covered and left the office to tell the man to uncover his face while in the store. When he reached the man, however, the man pulled out a gun and demanded money.
Reports say the man took a plastic shopping bag from the store and demanded it be filled with cash. He ran off after collecting about $200.
Witnesses told police a red car had been circling the business just before the robbery, and the thief jumped in the car, driven by another man, to make his escape. Reports say the thief was wearing blue jeans and a hooded sweat shirt with “American Eagle” across the front.
Employees at the Walgreens store on Belmont Avenue on the North Side also called police Friday when a man wearing a red sweat shirt, a ball cap with a “C” on the front and dark sunglasses entered the store with a note demanding money.
Employees said the man placed the note demanding cash on the counter of the checkout with a box of over-the-counter medication while acting as if he was carrying a gun in his coat pocket.
The thief moved all six employees in the store into a back room and had the manager open the safe. Employees placed thousands of dollars into a clear bag, and the thief eventually ran out of the store toward downtown.
Both robberies at the Dollar General and Walgreens were captured on surveillance video.
Police believe the Walgreens thief may be the same man wanted in the robbery of a CVS drugstore on North Avenue last week. The ball cap worn by the man was found in the street a few blocks from the Walgreens store.
A 16-year-old East Side girl told police she was robbed by three males while walking home from a friend’s house about 4 p.m. New Year’s Day. The girl told police she was walking near Lansdowne Boulevard and Kimmel Street when the three teens wearing dark clothes demanded all her valuables.
The girl said she refused to hand over anything but was then shoved to ground. The three assailants took the girl’s diamond earrings, cellphone and a pair of Air Jordan tennis shoes. The trio of thieves broke a necklace while trying to remove it from the girl’s neck.