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Armed Robbers Strike at Dacula Cell Phone Store

Two suspects, armed with handguns, flee with more than $13,000 worth of phones and iPads. Incident captured on store video surveillance.

Two armed men stole thousands of dollars worth of phones and iPads during an Aug. 18 armed robbery at the in the Kroger shopping center on Dacula Road.

According to the incident report, Gwinnett County Police arrived at the store just 45 seconds after the suspects fled. The employee on duty at the time of the robbery said two male suspects entered the store shortly after noon. One of the suspects started to ask the employee about phones while the other suspect looked at an iPad display.  As the first suspect approached the employee, he reportedly pulled a silver, small frame revolver out of his pocket and pointed it at the employee. When the employee looked up, he noticed the other suspect had pulled a hoodie over his head and was wearing sunglasses and a bandana over his face. The second suspect was armed with a black semi-automatic pistol.

The employee said the first suspect gave him 30 seconds to open the cash drawer. When the employee was not immediately able to open the drawer, the suspects allegedly forced him into the back room and asked him where the phones were kept. After the employee said the phones were stored under the counter, the suspects escorted him back to the front of the store. The second suspect pulled a 55-gallon garbage bag out of his pocket and ordered the employee to put the phones in the bag. One of the suspects then shoved the employee towards the cash register and again ordered him to open it allegedly saying, “You have 15 seconds to open the drawer or I’ll put 15 bullets in your ass.”

The employee was able to open the drawer and handed over the contents, which included just over $80 in cash. As the victim was placing the money in the bag, the second suspect reportedly grabbed two iPads and put those in the bag as well.

The employee said the first suspect struck him in the head with the barrel of his revolver as the other suspect ran out of the back of the store. The first suspect then left the store while keeping the revolver pointed at the employee.

Police canvassed the shopping center in an attempt to locate witnesses, but were unable to find anyone who could provide a good description of the suspects’ vehicle. Police were able to obtain images of the suspects from the surveillance video. The surveillance video, which had been posted on YouTube, was removed from the site on Aug. 20.

The total value of the merchanside taken during the robbery is listed as $13,505.

The case is listed as active.

Gwinnett County Police are currently investigating a . Since May 26, 2012, seven Gwinnett cell phone stores have been robbed -- six in unincorporated Norcross and one in unincorporated Lilburn. In each case, the robberies were committed by one or two armed suspects. It is not known if the Dacula robbery is connected to those incidents.

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DaculaHood August 21, 2012 at 12:55 PM
Was this the first reported armed robbery in the new Kroger shopping center? Any ideas why the video was taken down? Are the store owners or GCPD going to post some better photos of the surveillance video? Also the video seems to show 8/16 as the date but it's hard to tell for sure, did this happen on the 16th or the 18th? Sorry so many questions, this being literally around the corner to a shopping center we frequent with our 4 kids is disconcerting.
GregRodgers August 21, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Well...people laughed at me a few years ago when I said that making that town center was going to bring crime to the area. It was only a matter of time.....
Kristi Reed (Editor) August 21, 2012 at 01:08 PM
According to the police report, it happened on the 18th though the video was time stamped Aug. 16. I do not know why. I also have not been able to find out why the video was removed from YouTube. It was not a high quality video, though it sounds as if the original video is very good. As for whether or not GCPD or the store owners will provide better images, I do not yet know. It is definitely disconcerting given this happened in broad daylight and, as far as I know, this is the first robbery in that shopping center.
North Georgia Weather August 21, 2012 at 07:11 PM
My son was the one robbed. It was Saturday at around 12:30pm
Diane August 21, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Very, very scarey! I am always in that shopping center. And how bold is it to rob a store at gun point in the middle of the day..... :(
North Georgia Weather August 21, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Yes, very busy, especially on Saturday. I think this is an isolated incident though.
DaculaHood August 22, 2012 at 01:20 PM
Thanks Kristi. Please keep us updated with what you find out - is the speculation at this point that it is the same suspects involved with the other cellphone store robberies (same descriptions/MO etc?) Looking to see this if this pops up on the Gwinnett Crimestoppers site alongside the other cell store robberies http://www.crimestoppersatlanta.org/UnsolvedCrimes-110 (you'll have to select GWPD, I can't link directly to the page)
Kristi Reed (Editor) August 22, 2012 at 01:21 PM
According to GCPD, they do not believe this incident is related to the other cell phone robberies at this time.
DaculaHood August 22, 2012 at 01:23 PM
NGW, is your son okay?? Did that POS thug pistol-whip your boy? Hope he's doing okay, wow that's pretty scary indeed.

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