To offer tips
Tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111 and provide information anonymously about the robberies.
The reward has an expiration date. The group said the tip must be made by April 30, and the amount is dependent on the value of the information.
Barely revealing any skin on their faces, dressed in dark clothing from head to toe and wearing gloves, two masked bandits have terrorized people at more than a dozen businesses in the Charleston area in the past four months, officials said.
After each armed robbery, the pair has left no trace behind, according to authorities. They've hit several types of businesses, ranging from fast-food restaurants, convenient stores and pharmacies, officials said.
The suspects appear to be targeting businesses open late at night.
"They are using darkness as their cover," said Crime Stopper's Inspector Fred Bowie. "They are well covered. They've got on ski masks and wear hoodies. They never look at the camera. They have some knowledge of how to disguise themselves and wear gloves."
Crime Stoppers leaders announced Friday up to a $5,000 reward for information that would lead to arrests.
Bowie said there could be possibly as many as 13 or more armed robberies committed by the same individuals or group. It is possible more than two suspects are involved, according to Bowie.
Four of the robberies were caught on surveillance camera, showing the similarities in the suspects' appearance.
The robberies are being investigated by Charleston police and Charleston County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff's Maj. Eric Watson said their agency has 12 unsolved armed robberies, some of which they believe are connected with the spree.
Charleston Police Spokesman Charles Francis said they are investigating three incidents that may be connected.
In one incident reported to Charleston police, two suspects robbed a CVS on Maybank Highway at 9:35 p.m. March 23.
One of the employees was able to describe the masked suspects as black men because she said she saw the skin around their eyes, an incident report stated.
The suspects hit a McDonald's on Magwood Drive in West Ashley at 2:25 a.m. March 13, according to police.
Charleston police said one of the suspects also was involved in an armed robbery at 10:38 p.m. Jan. 14 at the Kangaroo gas station on Main Road.
A masked man entered the store, pointed his gun at the clerk and demanded cash, according to an incident report. When the clerk was unable to open the safe, the suspect stole cigarettes and money from the register.
North Charleston and Mount Pleasant police did not have any potential connections, according to authorities.
The suspects typically get in and out of the businesses in a hurry and leave on foot, Bowie said.
"That being said, they're certainly not getting out of the area on foot. They probably have a car and a driver," Bowie said. "These are the things we just don't know."
Witnesses have not seen the suspects get into a vehicle after fleeing, but a car could potentially be hidden several blocks away, Bowie said.
Bowie was unaware how much money the suspects have stolen collectively between the robberies.
"We're not talking about thousands and thousands of dollars," he said. "These businesses have learned not to have a lot of money there."
No one has been injured in any of the armed robberies, according to Bowie.
Reach Natalie Caula Hauff at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.
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