By Steve Rogers/The Packet
Two eerily similar street robberies within three weeks of each other have Columbus police saying it’s a “possibility” the two are related.
But investigators remain more than a little frustrated that residents and even witnesses aren’t being full cooperative.
According to Assistant Columbus Police Chief Fred Shelton, the most recent incident happened at about 1 a.m. Saturday when a man armed with what appeared to be a long-barreled weapon — anything from a “rifle to a pellet gun,” said one person — confronted a woman standing outside a car near the intersection of 8th Avenue North and 14th Street.
The man took the woman’s wallet and cell phone and fled, along with another man, west on 8th Avenue.
The woman’s sister, who was inside the car, was not robbed. No one was injured.
The women said they couldn’t describe the gun in detail because it was covered with some kind of cloth, Shelton said.
Meanwhile, three women were robbed in a similar case May 13 near the intersection of 14th Street and 10th Avenue North, just two blocks from the recent case. The suspects and details are similar, although the earlier case, of which investigators have video from a surveillance camera in the area, happened at 3:15 p.m. [The video is up on the Packet’s Facebook page. – Ed.]
Shelton says three women were driving in the area of 14th Street North when one of the women saw two men walking. She knew one of them and asked the driver to stop and pick them up. Shelton says that once they were inside, the two men asked to be dropped off at 14th Street and 10th Avenue. That’s where the two got out and one went into a house, got a gun similar to the one used in the later robbery, and robbed the three women, Shelton said.
Shelton couldn’t say why residents of the area aren’t identifying possible suspects.
“Just one of those things, can’t really say,” Shelton responded when asked about possible identifications.