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2 employees tied up during armed robbery in Richmond Hill

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 9:04 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 27, 2021 at 9:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - Police continue to search for a suspect who tied victims up during an armed robbery in Richmond Hill.

Richmond Hill Police Captain Brad Sykes said it’s been several years since anything like this happened in Richmond Hill. He says no one was seriously injured, but the nature of this robbery is odd.

Capt. Sykes said a man entered the store right before closing and tried to get two employees to open the safe, but they couldn’t. He then tied them up with rope or twine he found in the store.

One of the employees grabbed the gun the suspect sat down, but the suspect grabbed it back and hit the employee in the head. Police say it’s unclear whether the gun was real or not.

There were two customers in the store, but Capt. Sykes says they didn’t see much.

He said this is not common in the area. The last robbery he remembers was several years ago at a gas station near the interstate.

“We rarely have this type of thing happen in Richmond Hill and for a suspect to target a Dollar Store of all places...seems kind of odd,” Capt. Sykes said. As far as police know, the suspect didn’t get anything. Police have no leads now, but they are optimistic about the investigation.

Capt. Sykes said the only information on the suspect they have is that he is a Black male, and he was wearing a COVID-19 style mask.

Several people, including a business owner next door, were shocked to hear what happened.

“It really concerns me because we feel so free and we feel like, especially, in a small community like we’re in, and it breaks my heart and scares me too,” said Ervin Smith who lives in Pembroke.

Ervin Smith comes here often.

“About two or three times a week to this Dollar Tree.”

And Jason Wasileski owns a tattoo shop a few doors down. He says his store had just finished closing and they left about 20 minutes before the robbery.

“9:00 is not, you know. It was 9:20 or something. I’m here all the time at 9:20,” said Wasileski.

Both of them say this area isn’t known for this kind of crime.

“It’s kind of like a sleepy town. You don’t expect nothin’ like that around here. You don’t usually hear nothing about nothing like that. It’s pretty wild for sure,” said Wasileski.

“Well it scares you, especially the older you get and I think about the danger that could happen,” said Smith.

Wasileski says his store is taking all the precautions they can to make sure they’re ready for anything.

“We’re just like I said, hoping for the best and preparing for the worst so that’s about it.”

The Richmond Hill Police department says they’re working with descriptions from the store employees that witnessed what happened. They have no leads at the moment, but they are optimistic about the investigation.

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