Over the weekend, two businesses and four pedestrians were held up at gun point in three separate robberies in Newton County.
Just after midnight Saturday, two armed men allegedly entered the Kroger on Ga. Highway 20 and demanded a cashier open the door to the accounting office, said Newton County Sheriff's Lt. Bill Watterson. The cashier told the men she did not have a key and could not open the door.
The men reportedly forced the cashier to open her register and took some of the money. One of the robbers reportedly told her if she did not get the door open, he was going to kill her. The cashier called for the store manager who was in the back of the store, Watterson said.
The manager then reportedly approached the front of the store, Watterson said, but saw what was happening and attempted to run for the customer service office. A robber stopped the manager and forced him toward the accounting office, but the manager also did not have a key.
The two men then returned to the register and retrieved the rest of the money. As they exited the building, the robbers meet two women entering the store, Watterson said. The two women were reportedly robbed, their purses and cell phone stolen. The men also allegedly held up a man at the ATM outside the store.
Authorities are on the lookout for a heavyset black man and medium-sized black man. Security footage shows one man wore a football jersey with number 99 on the front and the other wore a red T-shirt. Both men wore gloves, masks and were wielding semiautomatic handguns.
According to the incident report, the men made off with $740 in cash. The purses and cell phone were reportedly worth $150.
"We're just looking at everything we can," Watterson said.
Sunday evening, at approximately 9:25 p.m., a black man entered the Citgo Food Mart at 9123 U.S. Highway 278 and reportedly screamed at the cashier to give him all the money or he would shoot the cashier. The clerk opened the register and the man grabbed an undetermined amount of cash before leaving the store on foot.
A review of security footage by a Covington Police officer revealed a black man wearing a black ski mask, a black hoody, black shoes and black pants. The man was reportedly holding a silver snub-nosed revolver.
The footage also showed that the man was not wearing gloves, and an investigator was dispatched to collect fingerprints off the counter.
Also on Sunday, a CPD officer was dispatched to Newton Medical Center in reference to a person having been struck by a vehicle. Once the officer arrived, the patient admitted he had not been hit by a car, but had instead been robbed.
The victim reportedly had been walking to the store on Puckett Street when Marcus Hardeman and Jermaine Bridges gave him a lift in a black Isuzu Rodeo. The three men then traveled to a convenience store where they all three bought items. They then returned to the car and reportedly began to drive toward the victim's uncle's house.
While in the car, Bridges allegedly pulled a gun on the victim and demanded his money. The victim attempted to exit the SUV, but Hardeman reportedly accelerated and victim's foot hit the road and tire, hurting his leg and ankle. The door closed back and the victim was trapped inside the car.
The men again demanded money, but the victim told them he did not have any. Bridges reportedly said he knew the man had money and ordered him to hand it over. The victim gave the men $800 and they reportedly dropped him off near his house.
Bridges and Hardeman were later located in the Spring Valley subdivision. After a brief foot chase with NCSO deputies, both men were arrested. Both men were charged with armed robbery and obstruction of a law enforcement officer. Bridges was also charged with the possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
The weekend crimes ended a week of robberies. A BP gas station was robbed last Saturday and another man was robbed Thursday morning. Watterson said there were no similarities between the robberies.
"This is not a normal pattern," Watterson said.
If you have information about, please call the NCSO at (678) 625-1403 or the CPD at (770) 786-7605. Tips may also be given anonymously at (678) 625-5007 or on their Web site www.newtonsheriffga.org.