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Man robs store, gets away on bike

Posted: February 17, 2011 5:11 p.m.
Updated: February 18, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Wednesday’s robbery of the Sally Beauty Supply store in Springdale Plaza has similarities to a robbery in Richland County where the suspect left the scene of the crime on a bicycle, according to Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd

“This is consistent with a similar robbery in Richland County,” said Floyd. “In that case, the suspect rode off on a bike and then loaded it up on a vehicle to get away. We don’t know if it’s someone from Richland County coming here or someone from Camden who went there. We have a lot of things to get resolved.”

Floyd and Lt. Herbie Frasier with the Camden Police Department (CPD) said a man armed with a gun entered Sally Beauty Supply Wednesday morning and forced an employee into a bathroom. The suspect was described as a black male, 20 to 30 years of age, wearing sunglasses, a green shirt or jacket and a wig.

“He took a deposit bag. It looked like he planned this thing,” said Frasier.

“His forcing her to stay in the bathroom created a delay, allowing him to get out of the area before she called 911,” added Floyd. “She stayed put in the bathroom, so she didn’t see what direction he left in. That’s why there was a short delay in calling out bloodhounds. We needed a specific direction of travel.”

Officers reviewed security footage from as many neighboring businesses as possible. One on the Springdale Drive side of the shopping center picked up what may have been the suspect in the distance, said Floyd.

“He crossed a fenced area behind the plaza through some woods to a cleared area, heading toward the dirt portion of Chesnut Ferry Road,” Floyd said.

Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) bloodhounds were then able to be called in. A S.C. Law Enforcement Division (SLED) helicopter flew low over surrounding neighborhoods while CPD officers and KCSO deputies searched on the ground.

“The Camden Fire Department came out, too, acting as extra eyes,” said Frasier.

He and Floyd said units picked up bicycle tracks, following them no more than one-quarter mile to the edge of some woods used by a hunt club. There, it appears a truck or other vehicle was waiting. Both suspect and bike disappeared.

Although the search went on for some time, Floyd admits there’s a good chance the suspect was gone by the time the SLED helicopter arrived over Camden. Several people reported seeing the helicopter over different parts of Camden.

“Actually, it was focused on that one area, but it can’t stay in one spot, it has to keep circling. That’s why it seemed like a larger search,” Floyd explained.

The chief said the Montessori School of Camden and Springdale Health Care Center on Battleship Road and several daycare centers were briefly placed on lockdown.

Frasier said the search ended between 12:30 and 1 p.m.

In addition to the sunglasses and wig, Frasier said, the suspect was wearing whitewashed blue jeans.

“But the sunglasses and wig are going to throw off our description,” said Floyd. “Those are just like wearing a mask.”

Anyone with information about Wednesday’s robbery -- particularly anyone who was in the area between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m. Wednesday and saw anyone fitting the description or anyone riding a bicycle from the area -- is asked to call the CPD at 425-6025.

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