2 men suspects in crime spree

Investigators nabbed 25-year-old Melvin Laurence Gathers (right) and 23-year-old Joe Louis Brown on armed robbery charges.

Charleston police suspect that two North Charleston men held up a hotel, a bowling alley and a restaurant during a four-day spree and dressed as women in the first two incidents.

Investigators arrested 25-year-old Melvin Laurence Gathers and 23-year-old Joe Louis Brown on armed robbery charges related to holdups at the Holiday Inn Express and AMF Charleston Lanes, both on Savannah Highway, and the Arby’s restaurant on Folly Road.

In the hotel robbery attempt, which took place at 11:30 p.m. April 27, two men dressed as women asked a clerk the price of a room, according to police. One man then pulled out a handgun and demanded money, but the clerk ran into the business office, and the men left without cash, police said.

In the bowling alley case, just minutes after the hotel holdup, a man dressed as a woman demanded money from an employee, according to police. The employee started to comply, but the would-be robber turned away and walked out, police said.

The third robbery took place at 9 p.m. Monday, when two armed men robbed the fast-food restaurant and then fled on foot, according to police.

No one was injured in any of the incidents. The investigation continues.

Reach Allyson Bird at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/allysonjbird.