Police think robberies are connected

COVINGTON - Three law enforcement agencies are working together, looking for a tall, thin black man who is suspected in three area armed robberies, according to Detective D.J. Seals of the Covington Police Department.

Seals said his agency became involved when the Holiday Inn Express in Covington was robbed just after 6 a.m. Saturday.

"The clerk did what we recommend to all people who have a gun pointed at them - do what the person tells you to do," Seals said. "Usually nobody is injured. Money is replaceable and people aren't."

Seals said after taking the money from the clerk, the man left in a dark-colored Nissan Altima with a "newer" body style.

"Also, we're looking into robberies in the city of Conyers and (one reported by) the Newton County Sheriff's Office. They both had armed robberies involving tall, slender black male suspects with a shotgun within days of this robbery," Seals said.

Seals was referring to the attempted armed robbery of a couple in the parking lot of the Whistle Post Tavern on Railroad Street in Conyers on June 27.

A suspect described as a black man, 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a slim build, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black pants and a black bandanna on his head, approached the couple wielding a sawed-off shotgun. In this case, the victim fought with the suspect, who ultimately fled in a vehicle described as "something like a Honda Accord or a Nissan Maxima with dark-tinted windows," according to Conyers Police Chief David Cathcart.

Then on the morning of July 2, an armed robbery occurred at Doster's Food Pride on Salem Road. Seals said investigators with the NCSO believe circumstances to be similar to the two previous incidents. Witnesses reported the suspect in that incident left on foot, but were unsure if he entered a waiting vehicle.

"From witness accounts, the weapon described, the build of the suspect, we think they all may be related," Seals said.

Seals said anyone who believes they may have information on this suspect or these incidents to visit www.covingtonpolice.com and click on the tip line or call him at 770-385-2144. Alternately, call the Conyers Police Department at 770-929-4211 or 770-483-6600; or go to www.newtonsheriffga.org and click on the tip line or call the NCSO at 678-625-1400. All tips can remain anonymous.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com