COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Deputies need the public’s help to identify the suspect in numerous robberies that have recently happened in Lexington and Richland counties over the last week and a half.
Six recent robberies have happened in Lexington County and two have happened in Richland County, officials say.
Thankfully, no one has been hurt during the robberies, but victims have told deputies they feared for their lives.
The Richland County Sheriff’s department said an S&S Corner Market and Exxon Station was robbed on Monday night at about 8 p.m. Deputies said the store clerk said the man entered the store, walked around as though he was going to purchase something, and then demanded the clerks give him the money from the cash register.
Deputies said it might be the same man responsible for a string of robberies in Lexington County as well.
Captain Adam Myrick with Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said there’s been a string of robberies almost every other day since October 18th, and the two big questions that hang in the air are if it’s the same man in every incident, and whether or not he has a weapon.
Deputies have released the images shown below of the suspect involved in the string of robberies.
“We do know it’s a black male and all the witnesses tell us that it’s someone who’s the mid-twenties and mid-thirties range in terms of their age so there are some similarities when you look at all the images,” Myrick said.
Myrick said during each of the robberies the man has kept his hand in his pocket, making many witnesses think he has a weapon.
“We’re so early in the case that we’re not sure that they do,” Myrick said. “But they’re making that indication and making that gesture to indicate that they’ve got a weapon in their pocket, grabbing cash, and then they’re leaving as fast as they can, running away.”
Myrick said all the incidents have taken place within a few miles of each other in Northwest Columbia.
“They’ve all taken place at locations that are close to the interstate,” Myrick said. “There are a couple of locations right off I-26 that have been hit a couple of times, and then a couple of locations off Bush River Road near I-20.”
The first six robberies happened at several locations within a few miles of each other in northwest Columbia, under LCSD’s jurisdiction:
- Oct. 18 – Circle K, 2201 Bush River Rd
- Oct. 20 – Speedway, 637 St. Andrews Rd
- Oct. 21 – Spinx, 485 Piney Grove Rd
- Oct. 21 – Pops, 441 Piney Grove Rd
- Oct. 23 – CVS, 100 Outlet Pointe Blvd
- Oct. 25 – Shell, 538 St. Andrews Rd
“In all of these cases with that quick access to the interstate, it’s been a challenge for us to identify where they’ve gone,” Myrick said.
Myrick said the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department is working alongside the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to identify any patterns.
A robbery at a Shell on North Main Street in Columbia and another at an Exxon on Winnsboro Road in Blythewood are likely also connected, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said.
Those robberies happened on the nights of Sunday, Oct. 26 and Monday, Oct. 27 and match the M.O. of the first six.
“They are sharing intel and images and working together closely to see if there is a pattern,” Myrick said. “What does that look like? Is this the same person? Is it multiple people working together? So there’s very close contact and coordination between the agencies.”
Myrick said that investigators haven’t identified a vehicle in connection to these robberies at this time. He said they don’t have a lot to go on right now, and are asking for anyone who might recognize the man based on his appearance or clothing to notify authorities.
RCSD hopes to release surveillance video of the suspect from the most recent robbery. This story will be updated if and when that happens.
Anyone who recognizes the man pictured, or has any information on these crimes, should call Crime Stoppers at 888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372).
Tips leading to an arrest could be eligible for a cash reward.