Armed robberies may be linked

Four robberies in five weeks
Apr. 17, 2014 @ 10:54 AM

The description of a gunman in several armed robberies and one attempted robbery in recent weeks has local law enforcement officials considering that the same person may be behind all of them.

Most recently, a man wearing a mask approached an employee outside the Captain's Galley restaurant in Granite Falls about 9:45 p.m. Tuesday -- shortly before the business was to close -- showed a handgun and demanded the employee to take him to the manager, Assistant Chief T.J. Bates of the Granite Falls Police Department said. Once inside, the gunman led four employees, including the manager, into an office. The gunman ran off with an undisclosed amount of money and was last seen heading toward Woodlane Street.

The man was described as white with a black cloth mask, a gray hoodie, blue denim jeans and white tennis shoes.

It was the fourth armed robbery of a business in Caldwell County since March 6, when the Market Basket convenience store on Grace Chapel Road in Granite Falls was robbed about 10 p.m. by a white man wearing a gray hoodie, black pants and black shoes, with a bandana across his face.

On April 2, a white man wearing  a mask, a hoodie and blue jeans robbed the Ruby Tuesday restaurant on Blowing Rock Boulevard just before 11 p.m.

On April 7, a masked gunman robbed employees at the Carmike Westgate Twin Cinema on Morganton Boulevard shortly after 10 p.m. and got away with an undisclosed amount of money. Witnesses could not provide a good description of the man.

Last Saturday, a gunman also tried to rob the Pizza Hut on U.S. 321 in Hickory. A gunman also donned a mask and displayed a handgun, and robbed the restaurant around closing time, Bates said.

Anyone with information on the Granite Falls robbery is asked to call the Granite Falls Police Department at 396-3358. Anyone with information on the other robberies is asked to call Lenoir-Caldwell Crimestoppers at 758-8300, the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office at 759-1526 or the Lenoir Police Department at 757-2100.