RICHMOND, Va. -- Police are investigating two separate armed robberies that happened just minutes apart Friday on Richmond's Southside.
Officers said an armed suspect walked into the Metro PCS store in the Westover Place Shopping Center on Forest Hill Avenue just before noon Friday and demanded money before running away with an undisclosed amount of cash.
Minutes later officers responded to another report of an armed suspect at the Rite Aid nearby in the Parkway Shopping Center on Jahnke Road.
But instead of money, the suspect demanded narcotics before taking off.
"It's always scary when somebody close has gotten robbed... at gunpoint," said Cheryl Pryor, who owns Stories bookstore close to the Metro PCS store.
As a result, she is now taking action to protect herself after the armed robberies in broad daylight.
"We don't have a policy in place like a drill, but I think we need to start one if it's going to be a problem here," Pryor said.
BrigittSimo, who owns the Tropicana KrispyKrunchy restaurant next to the drug store that was robbed, now worries thieves may now target her Caribbean restaurant.
After she was robbed several years ago, Simo relocated her business to the Parkway Shopping Center.
"They just take the gun -- ask us to give them everything. They went into the drawer," she explained.
Officers in third precinct, located across the river at Meadow and Cary Streets, respond to calls for service in this area.
Simo said that needs to change because she feels the police are just too far away from the area.
Richmond police have a second precinct on the city's Southside, but those officers are not assigned to the area.
One of the business owners has started a petition in hopes of building another precinct closer to the area.
Surveillance cameras at the Metro PCS captured images of the suspect, but police would not yet allow the owner release that video.