Weekend robberies may be connected

Pine Bluff police are continuing their investigation into two separate robberies that may have been committed by the same suspects.

In the case of both the Family Dollar Store on Blake Street Friday night and the Alon gas station Saturday night, the two suspects were wearing what were described as Halloween masks, and armed with handguns.

Officer Donald Kirk said in a report that when officers arrived at the Family Dollar at 1313 S. Blake St., just after 8:30 p.m. Friday, a clerk said two men, one wearing dark clothes and the other black clothes rushed into the store, pointed a gun in her face and demanded money. She said she panicked and dropped to the floor and began to scream, and one of the men ran around the counter, grabbed the cash register drawer, and ran.

The police report did not indicate the amount taken, nor how the suspects left the area.

On Saturday, a robbery in progress was reported at the Alon station at 1802 E. Harding Ave., at 8:23 p.m. The suspects had gone when police arrived.

Officer Kaylon McDaniel said in a report that a store employee told police two men entered the store and separated, came to the counter and pointed guns at him. One of the men then jumped over the counter with a gun in his hand and took cash and cigarettes before both men left the business.

One of the suspects Saturday night was reportedly wearing a bubble style jacket, dark pants and a Scream Halloween mask, and the other was reportedly wearing a black hoodie, dark pants, black shoes and a Hulk Halloween mask.

Lt. David Price said Monday that officers have been instructed to keep a close eye on businesses in their assigned zones. Price said the department’s Holiday Patrol, which will include additional officers in both marked and unmarked units patrolling shopping areas until Christmas, is due to kick off on Tuesday.

Anyone with information about the robberies should contact the Detective Division at 730-2090. All information will be kept confidential.