Police in Elkhart are investigating two armed robberies that took place at two separate cigarette stores in less than five hours on Friday.
The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to the first robbery at around 2:15 p.m. at the Elkhart Cigarette Outlet located in the 51 thousand block of S.R. 19.
Officials say two white men entered the store with dark bandannas covering their faces and demanded the cashier hand over the money from the register. After taking an undisclosed amount of cash, several cartons of cigarettes and other items, the men put the money into a black trash bag.
According to investigators, before leaving the store, the two suspects threatened the cashier, telling her to get on the floor and not to call police.
The suspects are described as white males around five-foot-ten and weighing around 160-170 lbs. Witnesses say they were wearing black hoodies, and light colored pants.
Although not seen, investigators believe the suspects may have been armed with a taser
Less than five hours after that crime, another nearby cigarette store was also held up. At around 6:50 p.m. two men entered Low Bob’s Discount Tobacco, less than 500 feet away from Elkhart Cigarette Outlet, in the 51 thousand block of S.R. 19.
Police say the suspects came into the store brandishing a “hatchet-like” weapon, and like the first robbery, they ordered employees to the ground and took money, several more cartons of cigarettes and other items before fleeing the scene in a vehicle.
A third suspect, described as a white female, stood at the entryway of the store while the robbery took place.
The suspects have been described as two white men, and their female accomplice, all said to be in their 20’s. Like the first robbery, witnesses say both men were around five-foot-ten and weighing around 160-170 lbs.
One of the men wore a camouflage-styled hoodie, while the other is said to have been wearing a red jacket with “Indiana” written in white letters across the front. Witnesses also say the woman was of heavy-set build, and wore a dark-colored jacket with a fur-lined hood and her face was also covered with a cream-colored scarf.
Anyone with information about these suspects or their vehicle should contact the Elkhart County Sheriff's Department at 574-533-4151.