Armed Akron fast food robberies could be related

Posted at 1:00 PM, Apr 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-28 17:35:38-04

Akron police are trying to figure out whether serial robbers are responsible for 4 different hold-ups over the last eight days.

In the most recent case, a masked man took over the Little Caesars on Copley Road by jumping over a counter and waving a gun at employees around 1:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Surveillance video-- released to shows an employee emptying cash from the register into the crook's backpack.

The suspect, wearing a brown-hooded sweatshirt and a bandana across his face, took the backpack, jumped back over the counter and ran out the door. Witnesses said he got away after getting into the passenger seat of a silver vehicle.

"These are individuals that obviously have no care for the public, in general, and the specific employees at those stores or at those restaurants," said Captain Dan Zampelli.

Akron police reported two Church's Chicken shops where robbed at gunpoint on April 20.

The first robbery happened around 2:30 p.m. on Copley Road. The suspect went into the restaurant, approached the checkout counter, pointed a gun and demanded money. When the clerk had trouble opening the drawer, she pushed it over to the suspect. The man took an unknown amount of money before running out on foot.

Then, shortly before 4 p.m., an armed suspect entered the location on South Arlington Street and reportedly said "Alright ya'll know what this is! Open the (expletive) register!"

As the clerk opened the register, the suspect grabbed an unknown amount of money and fled. 

The suspect in those robberies was described as a black male in his 20's who was about 5-foot 9-inches tall with black and light brown dreadlocks. He may have gotten inside a four-door, late model Dodge Avenger that was silver or light gray in color. 

Workers at the Church's Chicken on Copley Road said they've become nervous when customers enter the store, wondering if another robbery could go down.

"They could take you to the back and anything could happen," said employee Kadarra Prevo.

"Obviously, they're not getting enough. They keep going place to place," added worker Samantha La Fevre.

On April 23, Smileys Market on Copley Road was robbed by two men wearing black masks. Police said that crime could also be connected to fast food robberies.

Anyone with information is asked to call Akron police at 330-375-2490 or Summit County Crimestoppers at 330-434-COPS. Crimestoppers tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $2,000.