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Authorities working together to solve four internet cafe armed robberies

By Amanda Brannon
Published On: Nov 20 2012 06:12:18 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 20 2012 08:03:28 PM CST
GREENVILLE -

With a string of unsolved armed robberies at local internet cafes over the last month, the Greenville Police Department and Pitt County Sheriff's Office are teaming up to catch the robbers responsible.

Since October, there have been four armed robberies at the Greenville and Winterville-area businesses. Martin and Onslow Counties have also been targeted, officials said.

Two men with handguns entered the Sweep$t@kes Netcafe Business Center on Stantonsburg Road around 12:45 a.m. on Nov. 15 and took more than $1,000 dollars in cash. The same business was robbed of an undisclosed amount of cash early in the morning on Oct. 15.

Carolina Cyber Center #3 in Winterville was robbed at 1:15 a.m. on Nov. 12. In that robbery, two men entered the business and took more than $2,000 dollars in cash.

On Nov. 7, the Purple Haze Cafe on Charles Boulevard, just outside Greenville, was robbed. At least $680 in cash, along with a wallet, debit and gift cards, were taken in the robbery.

NewsChannel 12 spoke with the owner, John Bohling, about the frightening experience.

"I was in the office and I heard the front door open and a guy came running in with his gun pointed at me and told me to give him the money out of the register," he said.

The Greenville Police Department and Pitt County Sheriff's Office plan to meet with authorities from Martin and Onslow counties Nov. 27 to discuss these robberies.

Sgt. Joe Friday with the Greenville Police Department said they don't know yet if these robberies are connected.

"We're working with other agencies to determine if other robberies are related. We're not going on record to say that they are, but we are exploring all those possibilities," Sgt. Friday said.

As an incentive for people to call in tips, Pitt County Crimestoppers is now offering a $5,000 dollar reward for any credible information that leads to an arrest in these cases.

"If they continue to get away with it, it's going to continue to escalate and we want to make sure that don't happen," said Lt. Kip Gaskins with the Pitt County Sheriff's Office.