CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Police Department is calling on the community for help as to find a male suspect who allegedly robbed the Smokies Smoke Lounge on Woods Edge Road.
Officials said the robbery occurred at around 5 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 8 when a man entered into the store, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanding cash.
The man took an unknown amount of money, according to authorities.
This marks the second time that the store has been robbed at gunpoint, the first instance occurring back in April.
On April 25, the store owner, Shyamal Patel said two men robbed the store — when it was under a different shop name. Patel said those men have since been arrested thanks to local police.
“The K-9 came in and they knew exactly where they ran away — which direction they went in,” Patel described about that day in April.
Patel added that police used the assistance of ring camera video to also find the suspects.
Patel said that in the most recent robbery, he believes the suspect may be a former employee of his from two years ago, adding that his security cameras gave him a better look.
“Last week he came in and his leg was limping. We checked the video, his left leg was still limping when he walked out of the door,” Patel said. “He sounded the same, he ran away the same way that we’ve seen him before.”
Patel continued to say that the former employee was banned from the store back in February.
“All of a sudden, when I had a new employee here, he came in and told him that he was a friend of mine and it’s okay for him to come back to the store, which I had no idea,” Patel said.
Despite Patel’s speculation, police have not yet released the identity of the suspect to the public.
Since this incident, Patel said he has added 12 additional security cameras to the shop and will continue to increase safety measures with a new security system.
“After 8 o’clock, we have an ADT system where somebody would press the door bell and the clerk would open up the door from here,” he said.
Chesterfield Police have given the description of the the suspect; a male with an unknown race, about 5 feet and 6 inches tall with a medium build, who was wearing a grey hoodie, dark colored pants, black shoes and a dark colored mask.
Anyone with information about this suspect or about the robbery are asked to call the Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251.