BELLEVILLE, Il (KMOV.com) – Police are tracking a series of armed robberies and robbery attempts in Belleville, and believe the same suspect could be behind each one.
Since Wednesday, there have been three robberies and two attempted robberies, all were within five miles of each other, just off Highway 161.
Over the weekend police released surveillance pictures of the man they believe is responsible.
Police say they must get this suspect off the streets, and believe he is becoming more violent each time he strikes.
At 3:50 saturday morning, security video shows a masked man robbing the Midwest Petroleum on Royal Heights with a chrome hand gun.
He took money from the cash register and fled. Police say the same man robbed the Cheap Cigarette store on Sherman Avenue.
According to authorities, the suspect also tried to rob the Dollar General in Wade Square Friday night, firing shots in the air.
The suspect is described as a tall and slender black male between 20 and 30 years old. He was wearing jeans, a light sweat shirt and dark jacket.
Belleville police are stepping up patrols, especially on the city’s east side. Authorities are also working with police in neighboring Swansea to see if a robbery there is connected to this suspect.