Last week’s brazen armed robbery at a business on South Carrollton Avenue does not appear to be linked to a similar incident earlier this summer in the same strip mall, but police are urging businesses to take whatever precautions they can to keep their employees safe.
The most recent robbery was Monday (Aug. 4) at the USAgencies offices (click to see video) in the 3500 block of South Carrollton, when a man armed with a gun darted into the store and demanded the employee inside to open a safe. After the suspect took cash and money orders from the safe, he forced the woman into the bathroom and fled.
Surveillance video of the incident was released earlier this week in hopes of helping police find the suspect involved, police said.
“It’s still a work in progress, but we believe we are on the right track,” NOPD Second District Lt. Doug Eckert said.
A Subway located in the same strip mall was robbed in May (click for video) in a similar fashion to Monday’s incident, but investigators do not believe the two are linked, Eckert said.
Eckert acknowledged that it is tough for a business with an open storefront to protect itself from such a brazen robbery, but suggested that business to have more than one employee working at a time. In businesses where a single employee works alone, the business could install a buzzer on the door so employees could buzz in customers.
“That’s a tough thing, but I think that if you’re in a business, try not to work by yourself so you have an extra set of eyes with you,” Eckert said.
Meanwhile, C & A Seafood in the 1400 block of S. Carrollton was broken into around 5 a.m. July 31. The front window of the restaurant was broken and two cash registers forced open, said NOPD Sgt. Warren Keller. Approximately $600 was stolen from the registers, Keller said.
The business had surveillance video cameras, but they were not recording when the incident happened, Keller said. Second District Detective Samuel Jennings was able to obtain a fingerprint from one of the registers, Keller said.
Second District police also reported six vehicles broken into and three vehicles stolen in the past week. According to Keller, two of the six vehicles that were burglarized had shattered windows and four of them showed no forced entry.
“That’s the first time in a while in our district where we had shattered windows,” Eckert said.
“People really need to start locking their doors and put their property in a safe place in their cars, not just laying out on the seat,” Eckert said.