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Robber strikes 2nd time at 2 local businesses

Two West Toledo businesses were robbed early this week for the second time in just more than a month.

J&D’s Side Trip, 1534 W. Sylvania Ave., was robbed early Tuesday by a man with a knife. Police believe he was one of two men involved in a Jan. 21 holdup there.

That followed the gunpoint robbery Monday evening of a Douglas Road convenience store that also had been robbed Jan. 21.

A long-time employee, who requested anonymity because the suspect threatened her life Tuesday, said she was present for both hold-ups at J&D’s.

“Now, every time the door opens, you panic,” she said. “The first time you think, ‘OK, it’s an isolated incident.’ Now I think he’s thinking we’re an easy target.”

A police report said the robber told the employee, “You know the other guy wouldn’t have gotten hurt if he would have just let me do what I was doing,” referring to a bar customer who was stabbed during the January holdup. “Don’t do anything stupid.

“If I get caught, I’m not doing four years,” he said. “I know who you are. I’ll come back to get you.”

Police Sgt. Joe Heffernan said investigators believe the same person robbed the bar both times. J&D’s management is looking into improving security.

The suspect wore a black Carhartt jacket, gray shirt, a bandanna, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. Witnesses said the suspect is white, has “bushy” eyebrows, is very skinny, has dark circles under his eyes, and has a long face.

Also struck for the second time was In & Out Mart, 5830 Douglas Rd.

The store was robbed about 9:18 p.m. Monday by a man who held a yellow rag to his face and pointed a gun at the store clerk.

The clerk told police she walked into the store from a back room when she heard a door bell ring and saw the suspect bent over in an aisle. He straightened, pointed the gun at her face, and yelled, “Give me the money. Get back there. You got five seconds,” according to a police report.

The clerk gave the robber an undetermined amount of money and he fled in a small gray vehicle.

The suspect is described as white, 25 years old, about 6 feet tall, 185 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. He wore a brown coat, tan pants, black baseball hat, and black gloves.

Sergeant Heffernan said he did not believe the same man carried out the two robberies or one at a Dorr Street video store that was held up Monday afternoon.

According to that report, a man entered the Family Video at 5886 Dorr and, after other customers had left, went to the counter and gave the clerk a note demanding cash. The clerk complied, and the man fled in a gold, four-door Honda.

The suspect is described as white, in his 20s, 5 feet, 9 inches tall, 160 pounds, with brown hair. He wore a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans, white shoes, and a black hat.

“We don’t think it’s the same guy,” Sergeant Heffernan said. “We haven’t established a pattern consistent with that theory.”

Police ask that anyone with information call Crime Stoppers at 419-255-1111.

Contact Taylor Dungjen at tdungjen@theblade.com, or 419-724-6054, or on Twitter @taylordungjen.

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