String of armed robberies targeting Decatur businesses

- Decatur Police said they are still working to find out who is responsible for three armed robberies in Decatur. All three happened in December at two businesses on Ponce de Leon Ave.

Starting Dec. 5th at the Verizon store on the 300 block, two men pulled guns on an employee in the back parking lot around 7 p.m. demanding phones. Police said the employee was able to get back inside without being harmed or giving up merchandise.

Decatur Police reported the second attempt on the same department store happened Friday a little after 8:30 p.m. A man came in the front door with a gun and got away with an unknown number of phones. Witnesses told police he jumped into a red car that may have had a driver.

Officers said they aren't sure if the crimes are related.

"We are wondering whether it's an inside job or an outside job, we don't really know," said Amy Elfersy who owns the jewelry shop next door.

Elfersy said she has owned her shop for about four and a half years. She said they have seen an uptick in crime around the holidays at the wireless carrier.

Less than a half mile down the street and a couple of days later, around 12:08 a.m. on Christmas Eve, police said the manager at Parker's on Ponce heard a knock at the back door, thought it was an employee, and opened the door. A man with his face covered showed a gun and asks to be taken to the safe. Decatur Police report, the manager was able to push the man back out the door and was not injured.

"I do keep a watchful eye out mostly for shoplifters, to be honest, I haven't thought a lot about possible armed robberies," said Kerri McIntire at Collage Boutique next to Parker's.

McIntire said there is a good police presence in the area and she's not too worried about her shop, but she'll be on the lookout.

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