FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Florence police are looking for 2 of 3 suspects after a pair of armed robberies overnight. Police say the first robbery happened around 3:30 a.m. at the Phoenix Mart off David McLeod boulevard in Florence. When police got to the store, the three men had already run away.
Two of the suspects held the store employee at gunpoint demanding money. They took all the money out of the register, stole lottery tickets and cigars. Jesse Rhames, Phoenix Mart store employee says this was the first robbery at this gas station in 6 years. "My store manager called me around four and I got here at five, we had the store closed and everything was crazy," said Rhames.
"She was obviously upset, but she handled it as well as anybody could as far as guns being put to your head, she handled it real well. I was just glad she was okay and glad the Florence Police had such a quick response time.," Rhames said.
Just an hour later, Florence police say the same three suspects got to the Kangaroo station off Second Loop Road to do the same exact thing. The store manager there says the three guys held her employee at gunpoint until he handed over money and stole the same merchandise.
Both stores are about 4 miles apart, and police don't have any information about a car just yet. Major Carlos Raines with the Florence Police Department says, "You can get quite a distance walking but considering the amount of distance from the two locations you would think there is a vehicle involved, so of course we are trying to identify that particular vehicle as well."
Surveillance video is what led them to believe the suspects are the same. "We have that and viewed it and we know it's the same individuals involved. We are trying to identify the vehicle and identify and locate the other two individuals, and anyone else associated with it that we may not know about at this time," said Raines.
"I couldn't imagine going through it. Ive been working as a cashier about two years now. I cant imagine that ever happening to me," Rhames says.
Florence Police arrested one of the suspects, 19 year-old Christopher Wallace. He is charged with two counts of armed robbery and possession of a weapon. Major Raines says police expect to make the other two arrests very soon.