AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – In the past three weeks someone has robbed at least 12 restaurants and gas stations in Denver, Aurora and Parker.
Some stores in the area say the robberies have been so disruptive, they’ve cut their hours short and doubled their staff to add more potential witnesses. That’s also why they’re giving access to their video in hopes of ending the robberies as soon as possible.
It’s turning into a mountain of evidence. Another surveillance tape shows a masked gunman threatening a cashier and taking the money in the register. One video depicts a robbery from an Aurora Dairy Queen on the 15th.
Jeff Miller runs the Dairy Queen. He says the young store clerk was so affected she hasn’t returned to work.
“It’s disgusting. You can’t really sleep. It’s all you can really think about is this guy is still out there terrorizing people. It’s just a matter of time until he kills somebody,” Miller said. “He doesn’t realize you’re making an impact. It’s going to be with this girl for the rest of her life — for $300.”
The similarities from the string of robberies in the southeast metro area are obvious. One video from a Subway shows a masked man in what looks like the same number 32 sweatshirt. But in that tape from a robbed Cold Stone Creamery, the suspect has on a different sweatshirt. It may seem like a small detail, but it’s enough to keep Aurora police from saying the robberies are all connected.
But Miller is more convinced of the connection.
“It seems like he keeps wearing the same outfit. I don’t know why no one recognizes the guy. For all I know he could live right down the street,” Miller said.
Aurora police also note something they call odd. In the first robbery the suspect acts aggressively, jumping over a counter to get the money. Police say serial robbers typically become more aggressive and brazen over time. But recent videos show a much more controlled approach, so much so that some patrons don’t know how to react. Aurora police say that’s kept them from deciding if the robberies are the actions of one man, or many.
Aurora police say they’re no closer to naming a suspect, in part because they can’t see the suspect’s face. And witnesses haven’t given a description that would get police close to singling one person out.
Police say the robber is about 5-foot-10 and 19 or 20 years old. He wears a face mask and sometimes a dark hoodie with the number “32″ on it. He has also been spotted wearing brightly-colored Air Jordan shoes.
There is a reward for information in the case. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867).