Leesburg police investigate 3 armed robberies in 4 days

Detectives also investigating smash-and-grab burglaries

By Amanda Castro - Reporter/Anchor

LEESBURG, Fla. - Leesburg police believe three armed robberies that happened over the past few days might have been committed by the same suspects.

The latest armed robbery happened at the B&M Superette on Montclair Road on Tuesday evening. 

Investigators said a masked man entered the business and pulled out a gun on the employees. The suspect demanded cash and then ran away from the convenience store.

This marks the third business targeted by armed robbers in four days.

"Anytime you get a spike of robberies within a short duration of time, there's usually a substantial likelihood they're going to involve the same people," Lt. Joe Iozzi with the Leesburg Police Department said.

On Monday, the Food Mart located on West Dixie Avenue was also robbed. In that case, at least two armed suspects robbed the business. Police released surveillance images of the persons of interest in hopes someone from the community recognizes them.

"We have received some leads and positive feedback from the community," Iozzi said.

The first armed robbery happened at the KFC on North 14th Street on Saturday. Similar to the other cases, a masked man entered the restaurant armed with a gun and demanded cash.

Iozzi said detectives believe the cases are connected.

"After looking at all of these cases collectively it does appear there are some links between each case," Iozzi said.

Detectives are also investigating a series of smash-and-grab burglaries that happened at the Winn Dixie plaza on US 27 on April 6. 

Police released images of the three suspects and the car they were driving.

Investigators say the suspects burglarized three businesses: the Winn Dixie, TT Nails and Spa and Angelic Touches Salon. In all three cases, detectives said the suspects used a rock to break the glass doors of the business to get inside.

Yolanda Pilot said she learned about the burglary at her hair salon, Angelic Touches Salon, after police called her that night.

"My door was kicked in, glass shattered, cash register snatched," Pilot said.

The doors to the hair salon and grocery store are still boarded up days after the burglaries. 

Pilot said the suspects got away with petty cash, but they left behind a big mess.

"For the owners, you have to repair doors and all kinds of things. Then you have people that get afraid sometimes because of such crime, but we'll be fine," Pilot said. 

Investigators are now checking to see if the armed robberies and burglaries could be related.

"It's very possible. Again, our detectives will always follow up and compare and contrast any leads we have," Iozzi said.

Iozzi adds detectives are checking with other law enforcement agencies to see if they are investigating similar crimes.

The police department said they have extra officers, including undercover investigators, working these cases and following up on leads. Anyone with information is asked to call Leesburg police.

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