GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Greenville Police said they are investigating five armed robberies that happened in one night. The victims were ECU students in at least two of the cases, investigators told NewsChannel 12.
Greenville Police said the first armed robbery happened at a Trade Wilco gas station, on SW Greenville Blvd., at about 10:15 p.m. Tuesday. According to an employee, the robber, armed with a handgun, entered the store and demanded money from the cash register.
The suspect, who was wearing a black hoodie, black jeans, and a blue bandana cross his face, then took off on foot toward an Outback Steakhouse restaurant, police said. A white mid-1990s Ford Explorer was seen leaving the area.
Investigators said no injuries were reported in the robbery.
Greenville Police said they are also looking for armed robbers who broke into an apartment of ECU students late Tuesday night.
At about 11 p.m., three men, armed with handguns, forced their way into an apartment at Cypress Gardens on E. 10th Street, investigators said. Three ECU students were home at the time.
According to police, the robbers pointed their weapons at the victims, before stealing a 42-inch flat screen TV, an Xbox console, computers, cell phones, and a wallet.
The robbers left the scene in an older model black Lexus, police said.
The victims, who were not hurt, told investigators they didn't know the suspects' identities, but believed they were from Greenville.
The three suspects are described as follows:
1) Black male in his early 20's; approximately 5' 9"; 170-180 lbs., with medium length dreads, a scar on one of his cheeks, and wore all black clothing
2) Black male in his late 20's; approximately 5'10"; 150-160 lbs.; dark skin with a goatee; wore a black hoodie and khaki pants
3) Black male in his early 20's; approximately 6' 3"; 210 lbs.; light skin; wore a red and black ball cap, khaki shorts, and red and black shoes.
Another home invasion that happened Tuesday night was on E. 3rd Street, Greenville Police said.
According to investigators, two men jumped over the back fence of the home at about 11:59 p.m. The robbers, armed with handguns and wearing masks over their faces, then demanded the victims inside to get on the floor, police said. The robbers allegedly stole a 12-gauge shotgun, a .22 cal. rifle, a laptop computer, $20 in cash, and two cell phones.
After the break-in, the robbers ran towards Brownlea Drive on foot, according to investigators.
Less than two hours later, two men held up a victim at knifepoint at the Wells Fargo Bank ATM on Stantonsburg Road, near the intersection of Memorial Drive, Greenville Police said. The robbery happened just before 1:30 a.m.
The victim told police he was withdrawing cash out of the ATM when he was approached by the two robbers.
One suspect is described as a short, heavy-set black male with dreadlocks. He was armed with a knife and demanded the victim's wallet, police said. The second suspect was described as a black male, about 6-feet tall with a slim build and short hair. He grabbed the victim's wallet. according to investigators. Both suspects ran back around the bank and got into a red Chevrolet extended cab truck.
Police said the victim was not injured.
Finally, an ECU student told officers he was walking home at about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday, when he was robbed at the intersection of E. 5th Street and Rotary Street. Police said they are looking for three black male suspects who wore dark hooded sweatshirts, bandanas, and had a revolver. The robbers threatened the victim and took off on foot, according to investigators.
The name of the ECU student has not been released and no injuries were reported. Greenville Police said they are working with ECU Police to see if this case is connected with the other robberies.
Greenville Police said they are working to see if the five robberies overnight are connected. Anyone with information is asked to call the Greenville Police Department at 252-329-4315. CrimeStoppers will pay a reward for information that leads to an arrest. They can be reached at 252-758-7777.
To date, there have been 28 armed robberies reported since Jan. 1, 2013 in Greenville, police said. There were 36 armed robberies during the same period in 2012.