January 23, 2005
Police are continuing their investigation into two armed robberies within one week. Police believe the two are so similar that they are probably linked.
The second robbery at AutoZone on Rt. 250 occurred Saturday night as they were closing. A week earlier, a group fitting the same description robbed a convenience store along Four Seasons Drive, also at closing time. The most striking thing about these crimes is that the four robbers appear to be teenagers.
It was back to business at the Auto Zone Store along Rt. 250 Monday, but as the store was closing around 11 p.m. Saturday, the scene turned scary. A gang of what appeared to be teenagers came barging in.
"One of the black males had a sawed off shotgun, [or] what was described to us as a sawed off shotgun. He pointed it at the clerks [and] one of the females demanded money," said Lt. Gary Pleasants of the Charlottesville Police Department.
The four suspects include two black males and two black females. They got away on foot. The set up is almost identical to the robbery at the West Park Market on Four Seasons Drive just a week earlier.
Asim Khan is still shaken up. His brother was behind the counter that night. One of the male robbers pointed a gun straight in his brother's face and demanded money.
"They covered they're faces, so you couldn't tell exactly what kind of faces they have," said Asim Khan, Manager of West Park Market.
A 10-year-old customer was inside at the time. Terrified, he hid in the back of the store until the four left. It's the first time in four years that the store has been robbed. Now Khan and his brother are being a little more cautious.
"We're just changing the camera position and closing early, for a precautionary measure," said Khan.
They're hoping the stores surveillance tape will give police the clues they need to catch them before they strike again.
"I hope police will go after them, and catch them, that's what we're hoping," said Khan.
Right now police are still trying to figure out whether these teens are from the Charlottesville area or some of the surrounding counties. The convenience store did have 4 surveillance cameras, so police are hoping to pull any leads from those tapes.
The gunman is described as a black male between 5'6"- 5'9", wearing black framed glasses, a baseball cap, blue jeans, and jacket. He also had a red bandana covering his face. If you know anything about these robberies call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.