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Lawmen release picture of armed robbery suspect

Authorities are hoping that a surveillance photo taken at a business robbed at gunpoint last Tuesday night might lead to someone recognizing the man and tipping them to his identity.

The robbery of Thomson Tobacco Outlet, 660 Augusta Highway, just outside the city limits of Thomson, is the latest such robbery to have occurred this week, according to McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall. A similar robbery took place on Monday night at Domino's Pizza in the Camellia Plaza, off Washington Road.

Authorities have confirmed there are similarities to both crimes, but have not positively said that both robberies were committed by the same person.

In both cases, the robber used a handgun and partially covered his face with what appeared to be a T-shirt. Both robbers were described as black, standing between 5-7 and 5-9, and weighing between 160 and 175 lbs., authorities said.

No one was injured in either of the holdups. The robbers got away with an undisclosed amount of cash both times, Sheriff Marshall said. In both cases, the robber last was seen running behind the businesses.

Since the robberies, the sheriff, an investigator, deputies and officers with the Thomson Police Department have been attempting to run down leads to a possible arrest. As of Tuesday, no one had been arrested in either of the robbery cases, according to Sheriff's Maj. Ronnie Williamson.

Authorities are seeking the help of the public and are asking that anyone with information about either of the robberies to call 706-595-2040 - Ext. 236.

Tips for merchants

Sheriff Logan Marshall offers tips to area businesses related to armed robberies:

- Area merchants should keep front doors and windows clear of signs, posters and other items so as to provide good, two-way visibility. Such would allow passersby and law enforcement officers to see inside the business much better from the outside;

- Keep businesses well lit during night time hours;

- Make sure cash registers don't contain a lot of money. Keep cash to a minimum;

- Advertise outside your business that you only keep a minimal amount of cash on hand in the register; and

- Don't keep large bills underneath the cash drawer of the register.

Web posted on Thursday, January 15, 2009

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