FBI arrest 2 in connection to series of violent robberies

- Agents with the FBI said they have arrested two people in connection with a series of violent robberies targeting Asian-owned businesses around the metro Atlanta area.

Tabyron Rashad Smith, and Davrion Sanchez Ware, both 22 and from Atlanta, were arrested within the past 24 hours. The FBI said between Oct. 7 and Nov. 8, 10 businesses were violently overrun and robbed.

"They were hitting one every five days or so," FBI Special Agent Steve Emmett said.

Investigators said despite the robberies taking place at various times of the day, the modus operandi was the same in each case. Two men would enter the business acting like customers before pulling out a handgun and demanding cash. In some of the cases, investigators said, the men inflicted physical harm on the victims when they were not moving fast enough or even when they appeared to be cooperating.

Special Agent Emmett said Wednesday these cases were on the top of their priority list.

"The violence took it beyond a normal robbery," Emmett said. "The suspects robbed, beat and even shot at some employees and customers. One woman is seriously injured. They shot her in her back with a .40 caliber gun."

The FBI says a tip from the public and information on social media pages played a key role in the investigation.

"We got a substantial tip that put us in the right direction," Emmett said.

Special Agent Emmett said he's confident these suspects would have continued their crime spree if they hadn't been caught.

"This case isn't over yet," Emmett said. "We are still looking for at least one more suspect."

The FBI said the following business were hit:

  • Spring Spa, 1996 Manchester Street Northeast, 1:12 a.m. on Oct. 7
  • Cedar Massage, 6035 Bakers Ferry Road, 10:12 p.m. on Oct. 10 (read more)
  • Ql Clay Sauna, 7130 Buford Highway, 11:19 p.m. on Oct. 13 (read more)
  • Lush Nails and Spa on Northside Parkway, 7:42 p.m. on Oct. 20 (read more)
  • Kochi Maru in Doraville, 5808 Buford Highway, 11:20 p.m. on Oct. 24 (read more)
  • Palm Beach Tan, 2770 Lenox Road, 7:53 p.m. on Oct. 29
  • Royal Massage in Norcross, 3375 Holcomb Bridge Road, 7 p.m. on Nov. 3
  • Empress Massage in Duluth, 1960 Day Drive, 8 p.m. on Nov. 8
  • BD Spa and Wellness Massage, East Park Place Boulevard in Stone Mountain, 8:50 p.m. on Nov. 8
  • New You Massage, 710 Holcomb Bridge Road, 8:52 p.m. on Nov. 10 (read more)

Smith was arrested Tuesday in Fairburn at a family home, according to the FBI, while Ware was arrested Wednesday at a home in Stone Mountain. Both are expected to remain in custody.

RELATED: FBI: Violent armed robbery crew hits 10th business

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