SHELBY, NC (WBTV) - Armed robbers have hit several convenience stores in Shelby and Cleveland County within the past three weeks. Police believe the crimes may be connected.
The latest holdup happened early Wednesday morning at the One Stop Food Store on Fallston Road.
Police say a masked man with a black semi-automatic handgun demanded cash from the clerk just after 2 a.m. He got an undisclosed amount of money before running out the door and getting into a car heading east on Wyke Road.
The suspect is described as a light-skinned black male between 5'9" and 5'11". He was wearing a red long-sleeve shirt, tan camouflage pants, and a black T-shirt over his face.
Police say this is the fifth armed robbery in Shelby and Cleveland County since late June.
Other businesses robbed in the last three weeks include the Kangaroo Express on W. Dixon Blvd., the Fast Stop on E. Dixon Blvd., Mike's Food Store on Earl Rd. and the One Stop Food Store on W. Dixon Blvd.
No one was injured in any of these armed robberies. Shelby police say there are similarities in the description of the suspects in some of these crimes.
Crime Stoppers is offering a $500 reward for information leading to an arrest. Callers may remain anonymous. Call 704-481-TIPS (8477).