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Authorities searching for armed robbery suspects

A Dearing man who left his home last week for a short drive to Thomson to wash his truck was robbed at gunpoint by three masked men, prompting a search for the suspects by local and state law enforcement agencies.

Meanwhile, in an unrelated case in the city limits of Thomson, police are continuing to search for a lone armed robbery suspect, who attempted to rob a convenience store on Jackson Street.

No arrests had been made in either case as of late Monday. Authorities discount the possibility that the two cases are related in any way.

Deputy Robert Hoffman of the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department said in his report that Edgar Alejando Vasquize, 24, told him that the armed robbery occurred shortly before 10 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, while he was washing his truck at Sparkle Car Wash on Washington Road.

Three men, all of whom were described as black and wearing black-colored bandanas over a portion of their faces, walked up to Mr. Vasquize and demanded that he give them his wallet and money. One of the men, brandishing what was described as a silver handgun, removed a cell phone from the pocket of the victim.

One of the other bandits searched the inside of the victim's truck for items. Mr. Vasquize said his wallet contained $360 in cash, his driver's license, a work time card, as well as business cards.

Following the robbery, the victim was told not to call authorities for at least 10 minutes. The man did as instructed, noting that the robbery suspects last were seen near another business around Noble Street.

A search of the area by authorities turned up no trace of the armed robbery suspects. Sheriff's Department Investigator Larry Adaway is following up on the investigation along with assistance from Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent David Leonard.

In the attempted robbery of the BP Gas Station, located at 418 Jackson Street, a man, described as black, walked into the store shortly before 9:30 p.m. last Tuesday night, according to Officer Jamie Henning of the Thomson Police Department.

Santanni Nicole Jones, the clerk on duty at the time said she was in the rear of the store at the time. Two customers reportedly witnessed the crime.

The would-be robber was said to have been armed with a silver handgun and was wearing a white T-shirt around his head. One of the witnesses told police that the man waived his gun in the air, while the other witness said the would-be toting robber stated, "'Give it up."' He then fled out of a front door without anything.

Officer Henning and Officer Adam Dye searched for the suspect, along with Deputies Marc Coy, Alan Baldwin and Robert Hoffman of the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department.

Anyone with information about either of these crimes should contact the McDuffie County Sheriff's Department at 706-595-2141, Thomson Police Department at 706-595-2166 or the GBI at 706-595-2575.

Web posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008

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