Two Johns Island men who were arrested Friday are suspects in a dozen armed robberies in the Charleston area.
Charleston police and Charleston County deputies arrested Feraud Dashaun Lemon, 24, of Jules Drive, and Antonio Orlando Simmons, 31, of Bohicket Road.
They are suspected of holding up a dozen convenience stores, fast-food restaurants and pharmacies at gunpoint over the past few months, mainly in West Ashley and on Johns Island.
The robbers always wore masks, gloves and dark clothing to conceal their identities. Store clerks have been living in fear that they might be next.
"This is an example of how a few people can create such an impact in a community," Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen said. "It creates a lot of fear."
Mullen and Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon held a press conference at the police station Friday afternoon to announce the arrests.
Simmons and Lemon were each initially charged with one robbery - the McDonald's on Magwood Drive on March 13 - but are believed to be responsible for a dozen or more robberies, Cannon said.
Charleston County deputies obtained a search warrant and arrested Simmons, and the police department's SWAT team took Lemon into custody.
ATF, FBI and Homeland Security agents also helped with the investigation, Cannon said.
Mullen pointed out that Simmons has a long history of getting out of jail on bail to commit more crimes and said the police department will ask that he be held without bail this time.
Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.