Fort Mill Times

Armed robbery suspects recorded on store camera

Police released today an image captured of two of three alleged suspects in Monday’s robbery at a Fort Mill Bojangles.

“We’re releasing this photograph in an attempt to gain any information to help solve this crime,” Capt. Jerry Hoffman of the York County Sheriff’s Office said.

The picture shows two males and a female store employee behind a counter in the Bojangles anchored off 3418 Hwy. 21 Bypass.In the picture one male is clad in white, hooded jacket while the second male wears a black hooded jacket with vibrant red and purple markings. The picture also reflects that the person’s face in the white jacket is covered.

“They were trying to conceal their identity,” Hoffman said.

It is not clear if the two males wore masks during the robbery that occurred around 4 a.m. Monday morning at the restaurant. During that robbery, one employee was hit in the head.

No arrests have been made in the incident, Hoffman said.

More than 24 hours later, officials are turning to the community for help in identifying the men in the picture. “We are interested in any information,” Hoffman said.

Meanwhile, Rich Adams of Bojangles said the employee who was hit in the head was a female. It is not clear if the female is the woman in the picture. “We are very fortunate that nobody got hurt,” said Adams, a Bojangles regional vice president. “It was an unsuccessful robbery. It was a failed attempt.”

Three employees were in the store during the armed robbery, Adams said.

A store representative referred media questions to a unit director, who did not immediately return calls for comment. Around 4:16 a.m. Monday, two employees were walking to the restaurant door when they noticed three shadows coming toward them,” according to a report from the sheriff’s office.

According to the report, one employee told police that three men armed with a gun and a hammer forced her to open the door so they could get in the business.

“One of the employees was struck in the back of the head,” Hoffman said. However, “There were no injuries that required medical treatment.”Hoffman did not say whether the employee was hit with the gun or the hammer, citing the ongoing investigation. However, Adams said, no weapon was fired during the robbery attempt.

While one of the men served as lookout at the store’s side door, another demanded money, according to the report. A female victim told the man that she was not carrying cash, but was willing to give him her debit card, which the man did not want, according to the report.About the same time, an unsuspecting man and his daughter drove into the parking lot and banged on the drive through window for someone to open the store’s back door, the report notes.

It is not clear which of the two are employed by the store.

The three men then ran out of the business, shoved a gun in the man’s face and forced him to get out of his vehicle, according to the report. Then the men forced the father and his daughter into the restaurant, where they were forced on the floor.

When the men next left the building to flee in the man’s car, they realized a dog was in the backseat and instead fled on foot, according to the report. It is not clear what kind of dog was in the car.

Witnesses told police that the men ran toward Hwy. 51. A dog was able to track the men to the rear of a nearby daycare, according to the report.Hoffman said five victims were in the business at the time of the robbery. He did not release any other details about the robbery, citing the ongoing investigation.

The report does not note how much money, if any, was taken during the robbery. Bojangles’ Rich Adams contends that the robbery resulted in no lost property.

Monday’s robbery marks at least the second time in recent years that the business has been targeted, Hoffman said.

If caught and convicted the men could face multiple charges, including attempted armed robbery, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and car jacking without bodily harm.

Attempted armed robbery and carjacking without bodily harm, both felony charges, each carry up to 20 years in jail without parole, York County 16th Circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett said. Assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature carries up to a 10-year jail sentence, he said.

Anyone with information about the robbery should call York County Sheriff’s Office at 803-628-3059 or CrimeStoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321.