Armed robberies sweep through the Lowcountry

WEST ASHLEY, SC (WCSC) - In the span of about 24 hours, at least four armed robberies have occurred throughout the Lowcountry. Convenience stores and a pharmacy were robbed in West Ashley, North Charleston and Summerville.

"Stores get robbed sometimes and that's the scary part," says Kellen Priester. "It's always in the back of your mind."

Priester works as a clerk on Highway 61 at the Circle K. He says he knew his job was dangerous when he applied for it.

"It goes with the job," says Priester. "Somebody might get out the car and you might try and profile them and think 'oh, they might rob me.' "

The convenience store clerk says he is more aware than he has ever been due to the rash of robberies.

The armed robberies began early Tuesday morning in West Ashley. Charleston police say 19-year-old Eleni Trevino shoved a rifle in a clerk's face at a Circle K and demanded cash. She has since been arrested in connection with the crime.

Fast forward to Tuesday afternoon and another armed robbery in West Ashley. Authorities shut down Ashley River Road as the bomb squad blew up a suspicious package found after an armed robbery across the street at the Rite Aid.

Police arrested 39-year-old Matthew Bailey at the scene in that robbery, charging him with armed robbery and possessing a hoax or replica of a destructive device.

Late Tuesday night, two suspects stormed into an El Cheapo convenience store in Summerville. The two men pushed the clerk to the ground demanding money from him at gunpoint.

Less than 12 hours later in North Charleston, two men robbed a Lil' Cricket off Dorchester Road. Armed with a knife, the duo took money and cigarettes, but left before the clerk opened the store's safe.

Priester says he is lucky to have never been in that scary situation, but knows just what he'd do if he was confronted.

"Give it all up to them. Your safety comes first to the company. Money can be replaced, whatever they take can be replaced. Your life can't," Priester said.

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