MOUNT CARMEL — Members of two Hawkins County police departments are wondering if they’re looking for the same suspect who attempted to rob a Mount Carmel restaurant Saturday night and then got away with $1 from a quick-thinking Church Hill restaurant employee.
About 11 p.m. Saturday, Mount Carmel police were called to the Hardee’s restaurant on Main Street, where an employee said a man walked up to the drive-through window and tried to snatch a cash register.
MCPD Officer Bobby Moffitt told the Times-News on Sunday the suspect pushed open the window, and because of the distance of the cash register from the window, the man got in about to his waist before an employee saw him and screamed.
The man then fled on foot.
Moffitt said it was later discovered that two employee vehicles had been burgled. One employee’s purse, phone and “pink taser” were taken. Another employee lost about 50 CDs. He said it would be fair to assume the attempted robber performed the burglaries as well, but there was no parking lot video to confirm that.
Moffitt added that the employee who noticed the man climbing through the window didn’t get a good look at his face. The employee said he was wearing blue jeans and a “dark colored” shirt.
Moffitt said the clothing description was close enough to Church Hill’s suspect that there is a strong likelihood the two police departments are looking for the same suspect.
About 11:44 p.m., Church Hill Police Department Officer Bryan Pellegrino was dispatched to the Citizens Bank on South Central Avenue, where an employee of the Domino’s Pizza restaurant had wrecked while trying to escape an attempted robbery of her bank deposit bag.
The employee told police she was dropping off the Domino’s deposit bag when a male “appeared out of nowhere” and demanded money. The employee said the male pointed something in her face that looked like a possible weapon.
Although the man was wearing a bandana over his nose and mouth, the employee observed that he was white, thin, about 5-foot-11, had brown eyes and black hair, and was wearing a camouflage shirt and blue jeans.
When confronted by the robber, the Domino’s employee refused to turn over the deposit bag and attempted to flee in her car, police said.
“(The employee) stated that she took off in her vehicle, went around the building, and collided with (bushes and a flag pole) and ended on the embankment causing her air bags to deploy,” Pellegrino said in his report. “(The employee) stated that when she crashed her vehicle the same male came back down, while she was trying to get out of her car, and once again told her, ‘Give me your money. Give me your money or I will shoot you’. She told him she did not have any money, but gave him the only dollar she had and then the suspect ran down S. Central Avenue.”
Police said the quick-thinking employee hid the store’s bank bag from the robber and didn’t give it up.
Witnesses told police they heard the employee screaming for help, and observed a man matching the description given by the Domino’s employee run down South Central Avenue, behind Ridgeway Avenue.
A Kingsport Police Department K-9 unit, the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office and Surgoinsville police responded to assist with the search, but the suspect wasn’t found.
Anyone with information about the Church Hill robbery is asked to contact the CHPD at 357-3487. Anyone with information about the Mount Carmel robbery attempt can call the MCPD at 357-9019.