Armed men robbed four local businesses in four days in Newton County according to county and city law enforcement officials.
Chapman's Chevron on Ga. Highway 81 was hit Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. when two black men wearing all black reportedly entered the gas station armed with handguns. According to the Newton County Sheriff's Office incident report, the men demanded money from the clerk before running from the scene on foot.
At approximately 9:47 p.m. Saturday night two black men wielding handguns entered the Rocky Plains convenience store on Ga. Highway 212 and stole an unknown amount of money before fleeing in an unidentified vehicle.
The men reportedly wore all black clothing with blue bandanas around their faces and were described as being slim in build, said NCSO Lt. Bill Watterson.
Shortly after midnight Sunday, a black man gained entry to Zaxby's on Turner Lake Road, which was closed for the night, and robbed the restaurant's manager at gunpoint. Covington Police Department Detective D.J. Seals said investigators were reviewing any security camera's which might have caught the incident.
The Magnet Shell station on Brown Bridge Road was robbed Sunday night at approximately 9:30 p.m. when two black men, one of whom carried a stainless steel handgun, ran into the store and demanded money. The men, who wore dark clothing, collected an unknown amount of cash before exiting on foot.
Watterson said there was no indication the robberies were related.
"It's unknown if they are connected," Watterson said. "The number of perpetrators and weapons vary from incident to incident."
CPD investigators are also exploring a possible connection between the robberies.
"We are certainly looking into any connection with the other robberies, but we have not made any so far," Seals said.
Investigators are currently reviewing security footage from the gas stations and are tracking down other leads, Watterson said.
The NCSO offers free training classes to any local business to help prevent robberies and steps to follow if one does occur. One of the main points the classes stress, Watterson said, was to have a video surveillance system in place and functioning properly. Surveillance systems need to be cleaned frequently to ensure the images the video captures are good enough to identify any potential robbers.
"These systems are often the last thing on store owners' minds, but they are really so important," Watterson said. "Every business really needs one."
Anyone with information about the robberies at Chapman's Chevron, Rocky Plains convenience store or Magnet Shell is asked to call the Newton County Sheriff's Office at (678) 625-1403. Tips may also be given anonymously at (678) 625-5007 or on their Web site www.newtonsheriffga.org.
Anyone with information about the Zaxby's robbery is asked to call the CPD at 770-786-7605. Tips can be given to the CPD anonymously by visiting their Web site at www.covingtonpolice.com and clicking on "contact us" and then "secret witness."