Reporting Ron Dewey
DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit police are investigating whether a group of AK-47 wielding robbers who hit two gas stations Wednesday morning are responsible for several similar crimes that have recently occurred across the city.
Sam Adbullah was manning the till at the BP gas station on 7 Mile near I-75 around 4 a.m. when he looked up at the security camera.
“I had the camera turned on in the back. Usually I don’t, but tonight for some reason I had it on the back,” Adbullah told WWJ’s Ron Dewey.
Adbullah said he saw a vehicle drive up and four men exit the car with assault rifles drawn.
“I saw the car and then it disappeared, and then it popped back up on the camera in the back on the building. I saw them come out with the guns and everything. So, I said ‘Oh, s***!’ and I just closed the door, went over there, picked up the phone and called the police,” he said.
Adbullah said he locked the door and got down behind the bullet proof glass. When the robbers couldn’t get in, they left.
“It was frightening but you know, you just take control, your mind takes control,” he said.
Adbullah said unfortunately, dealing with robberies comes with the territory of owning a gas station in Detroit.
“When you’re over here you have to be, you know, you have to know your surroundings, you just have to know. Plus, I heard on the news it’s been happening, robbers going through gas stations,” he said.
In fact, police say these four suspects are responsible for another robbery that happened just minutes later a Mobil gas station at Harper and Cadieux. Police say the gunmen demanded the 34-year-old clerk hand over the money, which he did. The robbers then took off.
Police are now looking for a white color Chevy Impala that may have been the robbers’ get-away car. They said detectives are combing through surveillance footage, trying to identify the suspects.
Investigators are also looking into whether the two incidents are related to a string of other gas station robberies in the city, all of which are believed to have been carried out by the same group of men.
Police say those men robbed at least 11 gas stations in a two-week period. Then, just hours after police put out a public notice about the robberies, the group struck again — this time robbing six different gas stations in one hour. In every instance, police say the suspects will cover their faces, walk into a gas station armed with assault weapons and announce a hold-up.
No one was hurt in any of the robberies. It wasn’t immediately clear how much money the suspects were able to get away with.
The suspects have been described as a black males in their 20’s, wearing dark clothing and black masks that cover the lower half of their faces.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents, is asked to contact the DPD’s Criminal Investigation Bureau at 313-596-5240 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP. You can also submit a tip online at www.1800speakup.org, or text “CSM” and your tip to CRIMES (274637).