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JC police seek suspects in Wendy's holdup

KRISTEN SWING • Apr 19, 2007 at 11:12 AM

JOHNSON CITY - The string of recent armed robberies in Johnson City grew longer Wednesday with an area fast food restaurant becoming the latest victim.

Despite initial reports that two establishments - Wendy's and IHOP on Peoples Street - were robbed Wednesday, authorities confirmed Thursday only Wendy's was hit.

Just before 9:45 p.m. Wednesday, two white men wearing hoods and with their faces partially covered came into the restaurant and brandished firearms. The robbers ordered all the employees except the manager into a walk-in cooler and then forced the manager to open cash registers and a safe, from which the men took money before fleeing the scene.

Employees described the robbers each as being about 6 feet tall and weighing around 160 pounds.

At the time, authorities believed the robbers may have fled the scene in a light blue, four-door vehicle.

"As of now, we're not sure if that vehicle is involved," said Johnson City Police Department Lt. Matt Howell. "It may just have been a vehicle passing by at the time of the robbery."

The description of the men involved in Wednesday's robbery matches closely with that of robbers who have hit several other locations in the past week.

On Sunday night, two white men dressed in hooded sweatshirts and armed with a handgun came into Stop In Market, 3211 S. Roan St., and demanded money. The robbers were described as being in their 20s, each about 6 feet tall and weighing somewhere around 150 pounds.

On April 12, two men with similar builds came into Roadrunner Market, 1310 Cherokee Road, and made off with cash and cigarettes after brandishing a semiautomatic handgun. The men wore hooded jackets and covered their faces with bandannas, police said.

Meanwhile, a lone white man came into Mediterranean Market, 2106 N. Roan St., Tuesday and robbed the store clerk at gunpoint. The employee described the robber as in his mid-20s, wearing a long-sleeved, black zip-up sweater and blue jeans. He also was wearing dark sunglasses with gold frames.

JCPD investigators urge anyone with information about the crimes to call the JCPD at 434-6166, or to remain anonymous, call 434-6158.

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