Big Break: Possible suspect in armed robberies of Georgia Tech students

6:54 AM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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REPORTER TRANSPARENCY LOG
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Jon Shirek Log for 7-2-12


ATLANTA -- Atlanta police released video Monday of a man they say may be one of the two gunmen who has been robbing Georgia Tech students as they walk to and from campus.

The video shows the man walking into a convenience store at 10th Street and Northside Drive, NW, near Georgia Tech.

Police say right after the man entered the store, he tried to use a stolen debit card -- a card that had just been stolen from a Georgia Tech student in one of the recent armed robberies near campus.

Police believe that as the man went inside the store, his accomplice was waiting in one of two cars seen parked outside the convenience store, but the video does not show anyone getting in or out of the cars.

The video is not crystal clear. Like most surveillance video, it is low-resolution and grainy. But it's the biggest break, so far, in the cases.

Students are hoping the end is near.

"Yeah, it's definitely reassuring to know that they have a suspect," said one Tech student Monday afternoon as she was walking, not alone but with three other students. "And if they can find the guy and catch him, that's better for us. We'll know and be more safe on campus."

"I'm not too worried, as long as I'm walking with people and all that," said another student in her group.

On June 22 alone, there were four, separate armed robberies of pedestrians -- two of them just south of the campus, and the other two just north of the campus.

The most recent crime at Tech was on campus, early Sunday morning.

Two men somehow were able to get through a high-security, on-campus apartment complex, walk through the halls, find an unlocked apartment door at random, and rob the student who was inside the apartment, at gunpoint.

RELATED | Armed burglars assault Tech student inside dorm

Police are not saying, yet, if the victim of that crime is able to recognize whether the man in the newly-released video is one of the criminals who held him up.

Sunday afternoon, the concerned father of another student from that dorm showed 11Alive News how easy it is for anyone to breach the dorm's "high security," simply by climbing over a high metal fence.

Police are telling students that no security, no police force, is perfect.

"Please stay vigilant," said Lt. J.D. Cantin, addressing students during an interview with 11Alive's Jon Shirek Monday afternoon. "Your safety is your responsibility. We cannot be everywhere at once.... They're approaching from the rear. Each of the victims was alone, by themselves, no one else was around.... We're working on the assumption that [the crimes] are going to be related, because of the physical descriptions [of the gunmen]. And the M.O. matches almost exactly what they're doing and how they're doing it."

So, he said, students should stay in groups when they're walking to and from campus, and lock their doors when they're in their rooms, apartments, houses and dorms.

Anyone who has any information about who the man is in the video, or who has other information that may help police, can contact:

Atlanta Police Department
Zone 5 Criminal Investigations
404-658-7055
Investigator C. Yacuone
cyacuone@atlantaga.gov

Georgia Tech Police Department
404-894-2500
crimetips@police.gatech.edu

Crime Stoppers Atlanta
404-577-TIPS
404-577-8477

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