Bluffton convenience store robbed

rlurye@islandpacket.comDecember 21, 2013 

A Bluffton convenience store was robbed Friday less than three weeks after a man tried to steal an ATM from the same business, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff's Office report.

Two men entered the Parker's on Evan Way about 7:45 p.m. Friday, one of them wearing a latex glove and carrying a gun, the other standing guard at the door, the report said. The armed suspect jumped over the counter and forced the cashier to open two registers, the report said.

The man grabbed the money and both suspects, described as black males wearing black hoodies, blue jeans and baseball caps, ran away toward Evan Way, according to the report.

Deputies formed a perimeter and searched the area with a K-9 unit, which was unable to track the suspects.

While there is surveillance video of the robbery, Lt. Joe Babkiewicz of the Bluffton Police Department said he does not think investigators will be able to use it to identify the suspects.

Police are also investigating a Dec. 3 incident at the same convenience store. Shortly before 3:30 a.m., a suspect attempted to steal an ATM from inside after crashing a stolen, white work van into the front of the building, according to a news release.

The suspect ran away after finding the van was lodged into the store, the release said.

Babkiewicz said police do not know if the two incidents are connected, or whether Friday's armed robbery is related to the Thanksgiving robbery of a Hardeeville store.

"Investigators will have to follow up on that," Babkiewicz said Saturday.

About 12:25 p.m. Nov. 28, two masked men dressed in black entered the Dollar General on Whyte Hardee Boulevard, according to the Hardeeville Police Department. One man propped open the door while the second used a gun to force the cashier to open the register and safe, Lt. Arnold Middleton said.

When the traumatized cashier could not remember the passwords, the suspect guarding the door told his armed cohort to shoot her and a customer, Middleton said. Instead, the gunman grabbed the customer's wallet and struck the cashier in the head with the gun before both men ran away.

Police obtained a photo of one of the men from surveillance footage, Middleton said, but the S.C. Law Enforcement Division is still working to identify him.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

Related content:

Men crash van into Bluffton store to steal ATM, December 3, 2013

2 sought in Hardeeville armed robbery on Thanksgiving, December 4, 2013

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