Salinas police believe the same man committed armed robberies at two convenience stores early Thursday and struck clerks at each store in the head with a gun, a police commander said. The first robbery was reported at 2:42 a.m. Thursday at the 7-Eleven store at 1305 N. Main St., where a male adult pulled out a semi-automatic handgun from his sweatshirt pocket, police said.
The suspect then leapt over the counter toward the clerk, who was beside the cash register, and said, “Give me your money, fool,” according to police Cmdr. Heath Johnson. When the clerk opened the register drawer, the armed man hit the clerk on the right side of the head with the gun, causing a severe laceration and knocking the clerk out, Johnson said. The gunman stole an undisclosed amount of cash and then fled on foot headed west on West Curtis Street, Johnson said.
Minutes later, at 2:59 a.m., police were called about a second robbery, at the Quick Stop store at 339 Williams Road, Johnson said. The suspect, a man, had confronted a clerk outside the store and ordered him at gunpoint to get back into the business, police said.
While inside, the gunman leapt over the counter, ordered the clerk to open the register and after the clerk opened it, the suspect hit him in the head with the gun, according to Johnson. The clerk saw the suspect grab come cash and flee into an alley behind the store, police said.
Police Cmdr. Henry Gomez said investigators think that the same person committed both robberies “based on the physical description, the method it was done and the proximity and time.” The clerks in both robberies described the suspect as a Hispanic man, Johnson said. The victim of the first robbery said the man was 20 to 21 years old and wore a black-hooded sweatshirt and blue pants, Johnson said.
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