Four robberies since Jan. 12 in West Ashley and Johns Island have some similarities, but police have not found connections between the incidents, Charleston police said Tuesday.
Police spokesman Charles Francis said police are asking the public's help in solving the crimes. He said proactive initiatives, "including increased patrols and saturation details, have been implemented along with other investigative efforts in response to these incidents."
The robberies took place on the front porch of a residence, at a garage beside a home, at a business and at a vehicle parked near some apartments. The victims have ranged in ages from 16 to 89 years old, he said.
-- On Jan. 12, about 11:15 a.m., a 60-year-old woman was entering a Farmfield Avenue business when a man approached her from behind, grabbed her purse and fled on foot. The suspect was described as black, 20-30 years-old, with a slim build and wearing BDU style pants and a gray sweat shirt, Francis said.
-- On Feb. 6, about 2:15 p.m., an 85-year-old woman was entering her Wappoo Road home when a man grabbed her from behind and demanded her purse. He pushed her down as he grabbed the purse, and fled on foot down Skinner Avenue. The suspect is described as black, about 6 feet tall, 18-25 years-old, weighing between 135 and 170 pounds and wearing dark colored pants and jacket, Francis said.
-- On Feb. 19, about 6:30 p.m., a 16-year-old boy was about to enter his vehicle after visiting a friend at an Ashley Crossing Lane apartment complex, when a man approached and took his money and cell phone. The suspect was described as black, 18-20 years-old, about 6 feet tall, with a flat top hair cut and upper gold teeth and wearing a dark colored jacket. The vehicle the suspects were driving is described as a four-door silver or gold colored Impala with dark tinted windows, Francis said.
-- On Feb. 20, at 3:30 p.m., an 89-year-old man drove his car into his garage on Thunder Trail, on Johns Island, and was confronted by a man who opened the front passenger side door and pointed a handgun. The gunman demanded money, took it and fled the scene in a vehicle described as an older model four-door gold colored Impala. The suspect is described as black, 20-25 years-old, with a medium complexion, weighing between 175 and 185 pounds and wearing a dark baseball cap and dark shirt, Francis said.
Francis said police are advising citizens to be alert. "While these incidents have not been connected at this time, due to their similarities police are alerting citizens so they can be vigilant and observant during their daily activities," he said.
Anyone who observes suspicious individuals or vehicles should immediately report them to the police. "If citizens believe they are being followed, they should go to a public place and notify the police immediately," he said.
To report information about the crimes or suspects call Crime Stoppers at 554-1111 or Charleston police at 577-7434.