Construction vests used in 3 heists

Suspect sought in robberies near UT campus this week

Surveillance video of the robbery.
Surveillance video of the robbery.

Construction vests were apparently in vogue in a series of robberies near the University of Toledo this week.

Since Monday, at least three robberies have been reported near the campus and, in each incident, the suspect wore what was described as either an orange or yellow construction vest.

Police don’t yet know if the suspect is the same man, but Toledo police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said investigators are “trying to put it all together.”

Two of the robberies happened Wednesday. The first was reported at 9:57 a.m. by a Subway employee hiding in a store cooler.

A man wearing a blue ski mask, black sweatsuit, and orange vest went into the sandwich shop, 1465 Secor Rd., armed with a double-barrel shotgun, the employee told police.

The three employees who were in the store at the time ran into the back cooler. The suspect ran out without taking any cash.

After the robbery, campus police established extra patrols around the university’s perimeter to look for the armed man.

Hours later, at about 2:10 p.m., a man robbed Cocoa Beach Tanning, 2903 Dorr St., in Rocket Plaza.

That suspect, who was wearing an orange construction vest, brown sweatshirt, and black sweatpants, indicated he had a gun, although one was never seen.

The man, who did get an undisclosed amount of cash, ran out of the store, authorities said.

Monday, police were called to Family Dollar, 3535 Dorr, at 2:13 p.m., after a man — wearing a yellow construction vest — robbed the store of $300 and an antenna.

The suspect went to the register with merchandise, and when an employee asked if he needed anything else, the suspect demanded cash from the register.

Police reported that the suspect appeared to have a gun, but it was hidden in a black sock. The suspect took the cash drawer and fled, authorities said.

The University of Toledo sent out text messages, emails, and put posts on social media alerting students of a “dangerous situation” not long after the first robbery Wednesday. After the second, the university again sent out alerts to students.

No injuries were reported in any of the robberies.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at: or 419-724-6054.