Suffolk sees robbery spree

Published 8:26 am Friday, December 31, 2010


SUFFOLK—Suffolk police have added two more robberies to the list of crimes they believe may have been committed by the same pair of men since the beginning of December.

The Win Wok Chinese Restaurant at 1238 Holland Road and the Quickie Mart on East Washington Street join a growing list of Suffolk businesses that have been robbed at gunpoint this month by what police believe is the same pair of men, according to Suffolk spokeswoman Debbie George.

The Win Wok robbery is the most recent of the six or so that police believe to be connected.

Two males whom George described as having been “heavily covered” entered the restaurant at about 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, wielded handguns and demanded money from the female owner of the restaurant as her young son slept nearby. The victim gave the men money from the cash register, and the men fled on foot, George said Wednesday.

In a similar incident Dec. 23, two suspects entered the Quickie Mart, demanded money and then fled.

The string of robberies started the first week of December, when the Sunoco station on Godwin Boulevard was robbed. Other, similar robberies have taken place since that time in Chuckatuck, on Carolina Road and, now, along Washington Street and Holland Road, George said.

Witnesses have been able to describe a vehicle in only one of the incidents — the Sunoco robbery, where a camera outside of Sentara Obici Hospital recorded two suspects in a maroon late-‘90s Chrysler car, George said.

A complete description of the men has been even harder to come by, but witnesses have said that one is taller, thinner and has light skin and the other is shorter, stockier and has darker skin.

Video footage from the businesses that have been robbed has been largely unhelpful in helping to identify the suspects, George said, but the tapes do seem to indicate that the men have been loitering around in the victims’ parking lots prior to the robberies, waiting for customers to leave.

“We’re hoping that maybe someone has seen the suspects hanging around the parking lots,” she added.

Meanwhile, she said, all of the cases have been assigned to the same team of detectives in hopes that they will be able to make some connections between the cases.

The detectives also have spent time talking to business owners and giving them tips on how to avoid becoming victims of the robbers, George said. Police have made automated reverse-911 calls to warn business owners about the problem and have contacted investigators from surrounding communities to see if there are any similarities with crimes in those areas.