SEBRING — Sebring police believe the same person is responsible for three robberies or attempted robberies during the past few days and a fourth armed robbery about two weeks ago, Cmndr. Steve Carr of the Sebring Police Department said Wednesday.
“There were similarities in all four,” Carr said.
He said in at least two of the robberies the suspect used a similar weapon.
In the latest string of robberies, attempted robberies and burglaries -- six in total of businesses along U.S. 27 -- an attempted robbery was reported at south Sebring Burger King, 3130 U.S. 27, around 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
Earlier robberies within Sebring city limits occurred at Dollar General, Arby’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.
A robbery of two employees outside of Chili’s the night of May 16 was unrelated, authorities said. The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office is handling this and no updates were available Wednesday.
Also, officials would not comment whether a burglary at a sixth business along U.S. 27, which apparently occurred hours after the attempted robbery at Burger King, was related.
The Sebring Police Department report states the Burger King shift manager told authorities “a man entered and walked up to the counter wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt and light colored blue jeans.”
The shift manager added the “male subject had the hood of the sweat shirt bunched around his mouth.”
Carr said the man did have a weapon, but didn’t elaborate on what kind.
At some point, the man leaned over the counter and then became scared and ran away and out the door, the report said.
Efforts to have a police K9 follow his scent were unsuccessful, the report said.
The man was described as being 6 feet tall, weighing about 160 pounds and having brown or blue eyes.
The Arby’s robbery occurred May 18 about 10 p.m. The suspect was described as being a white male, possibly Hispanic, wearing a gray hoodie, according to a Sebring Police Department report.
The man, who had most of his face covered, demanded money, the report said. He was described as being in his 20s and about 5 feet, 8 inches tall, the report said.
The suspect was described as a white male in the cases at Burger King, Dollar General, Arby’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. The suspect in the Chili’s robbery was black.
Nell Hays, who handles crime prevention for the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, said businesses can help avoid robberies at closing by having employees be vigilant about who is in the parking lot and having lighting there.