SEMMES, Ala. (WPMI) A string of robberies across Mobile County have investigators warning business owners to be cautious, especially when closing their stores late at night.
Deputies say around 9 p.m. Sunday night, three men held employees at the Dollar General in Semmes at gunpoint, stealing cash and personal items.
"We heard about it when we got here this morning," said Cowboys Corral owner Bart Weaver.
Moments after opening his register, Weaver learned that the Dollar General store next door to him on Moffett Road was robbed Sunday night during business hours.
"The way the economy is getting, you just don't know when somebody is going to come in or who's going to get robbed these days," said Weaver.
Sheriff's investigators describe the robbery as a violent take over.
"One white male and two black males wearing something over their faces went into the Dollar General. They went in with guns and ordered people to the floor," said Sheriff's Investigator Lt. Paul Burch.
With guns to their heads, clerks were forced to unlock the safe. The thieves got away with money and personal items from employees.
"We believe this group of people is linked to a robbery we had at a Dollar General in Wilmer on March 9th."
Mobile police are also investigating robberies at two other Dollar Generals and a video store with suspects fitting the same description.
"It's kind of scary because I've got girls here that are in here most the time by themselves. We do keep a gun on the premises, but you have to these days," said Weaver.
Investigators say business owners can help protect themselves and their employees by taking a few simple steps.
"Have an up-to-date security system. Have a protocol for your employees and if you see something out of the ordinary go ahead and call us," said Lt. Burch.
Investigators don't have a description of the vehicle but say the suspects were wearing blue and black hoodie sweatshirts and blue bandanas.
If you have any information you can contact the Mobile County Sheriff's Office by phone or you can use their online crime tip form by clicking the link below.www.mobileso.com/report-a-crime/