Suspect in custody after gas station robbery; police believe could be same man from hammer attack

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 12:32 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 4:12 PM EDT
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THUNDERBOLT, Ga. (WTOC) - Two robberies happened just a quarter-mile and a few hours apart Thursday morning in Thunderbolt.

The first was Thursday morning at the Enmarket on East Victory Drive. Thunderbolt Police say the suspect attacked the clerk with a hammer in that robbery.

The second happened Thursday afternoon at the Chevron just down the street.

Police tell WTOC they believe it is the same suspect, and that the man ran away before being caught and arrested near 43rd and Raskin.

Savannah, Thunderbolt and Chatham County police responded, and a group of them were able to get the robbery suspect into the back of a Thunderbolt police patrol vehicle.

Thunderbolt’s chief said they think this is the man who hit a clerk in the head four times at the Enmarket gas station early Thursday morning, before taking money out of the cash register.

Chief Sean Clayton says the suspect walked into this Enmarket, carrying a two-pound hammer, and appeared to get a fountain drink.

“Went up to the self checkout, acted like he was having some problems there. The clerk come over to give him some assistance. So when the clerk got there, the clerk’s back was turned completely towards the suspect. Suspect pulled the hammer out, struck him in the back of the head with the hammer.”

Clayton says even though the clerk tried to get away, the attacker didn’t stop there.

“Hit him in the head like three more times. The clerk went down on the floor. Suspect stepped over him and went over to the registers. Hit the registers with the hammer, got those open.”

Clayton says the robber took cash and ran out. And it was the nature of the attack that had Clayton concerned the man would strike again.

“If he got away with it once, he’s gonna try it again somewhere else, I’m quite sure.”

Fast forward about an hour after our interview, and sirens rang out again in Thunderbolt, this time for a robbery at a gas station just down the street from the Enmarket. Police from several departments combed the area, and a short time later arrested a man, who they believe was responsible.

“We’ve got some more steps to take first, but we’re pretty sure this is our suspect from this morning.”

Chief Clayton says several things indicate the man they arrested today is likely tied to both robberies such as similar shoes, appearance and level of aggression towards the clerks.

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