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He asked clerks for a plunger. Then he robbed these two stores at gunpoint.

Police: 2 Richmond armed robberies started with request for a plunger
Posted at 11:26 PM, Jan 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-25 10:08:02-05

RICHMOND, Va. — Twenty minutes and just over two miles apart, police believe a serial robber hit two Southside Richmond businesses.

In both the robbery of the Dollar Tree on Cowardin Avenue and the CVS pharmacy on Forest Hill Avenue, the suspect came in and asked, ”Where can I find a plunger?”, police said.

“Anytime they do the same act over and over, it makes them easier to catch,” Miles Turner, of Law Enforcement Consulting LLC., said. “You know, if they change up how they do things, it makes it more difficult to apprehend them."

Asking for the toilet tool has been the common denominator, which was then followed by pulling out a gun and demanding money from the register.

Crime Insider sources said at the Dollar Tree robbery, the suspect left with the plunger, but no cash.

Twenty minutes later at CVS in the 5000 block of Forest Hill Avenue, he had better luck.

"It's an odd security blanket, but if it worked before, they then try it the same way,” said Turner. “Still, it makes it easier to catch them.”

Police said how busy the area is doesn't seem to matter to the suspect. So far, the man has been able to simply run off and blend in.

“We chuckle about the plunger, but somebody is running into a business with a firearm, and that ups the ante for both the victim and law enforcement,” said Turner. “We want to get that guy off the street as quick or quicker than the victim wants, because, at some point, something may go wrong. The guys get spooked and someone gets shot."

If you recognize the man in the photos, Richmond Police robbery detectives ask you to call Crimestoppers' anonymous tip line at (804) 780-1000.

Police: 2 Richmond armed robberies started with request for a plunger

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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