DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — Police say a man went into a Kroger, robbed employees, kidnapped one of them and forced them to drive him to another city.
Douglasville police think the suspect is tied to another armed robbery, and they are concerned because they think he is becoming more violent with each crime. Now a $10,000 reward is being offered to help police make an arrest.
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Shoppers told Channel 2′s Michele Newell that they are being extra cautious this holiday season.
“We only come out when it’s absolutely necessary,” Natalie Hermitt said.
“I lock my doors, go in come out real quick and go back in. I don’t really linger around,” Chance Hermitt said.
Douglasville police Major J.R. Davidson said it can be more dangerous this time of year.
“We do generally see an uptick in crime during the holidays,” Davidson said.
Douglasville police are doing all they can to find the man seen in photos taken from security cameras earlier this month.
“He assaulted several employees,” Davidson said
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The robbery happened around 2 a.m. at a Kroger on Chapel Hill Road. The store was closed at the time.
Police said the suspect robbed several employees at gunpoint. In one picture the suspect can be seen pointing a gun at an employee’s back, and police said he did even more than that.
Police said the suspect locked employees inside of a semi-trailer, then kidnapped another employee and forced that person to drive him to Atlanta.
Investigators think the suspect forced the employee to use their own car to drive him to Atlanta.
A Kroger representative sent out a statement that reads in part:
“The safety and security of our associates are our number one priority. We are working in full cooperation with law enforcement and encouraging the public to come forward if they can help identify the suspect”
Police believe the same suspect robbed a Papa John’s Pizza outlet last month, which is about 600 feet away from the Kroger.
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“We’re concerned that somebody is going to get hurt,” Davidson said. “That he is going to hurt somebody more than he already has, possible take somebody’s life. So we really think coming forward is the right thing to do.”
Police are not sure where the suspect lives, but they told Newell it’s not uncommon for someone to travel from a big city like Atlanta to a place like Douglasville to commit a crime.
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