Women clothing stores targets of armed robberies

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Police are looking to see if there is any connection between several armed robberies at women's clothing stores spanning across Hanover, Henrico and Chesterfield.

Two armed robberies happened this past week: one at the Dress Barn at Virginia Center Commons, a second at another Dress Barn on Bell Creek Road in Mechanicsville.

In both of those crimes, the MO and suspect descriptions are very similar.

Angela Davis is a regular at the Dress Barn in Mechanicsville. Little did she know -- just 24 hours before her latest visit -- a man armed with a semi-automatic handgun -- stormed into the shop.

"It kind of makes you wonder why are they targeting this particular store? Why Dress Barn? And, why now," asked Davis.

That's exactly what police are trying to figure out now and also working to determine if there's any connection to this Dress Barn at Virginia Center Commons in Henrico. It too -- a target of a handgun wielding criminal. The descriptions of the suspects are similar. In both cases the gunman got away with cash. The two stores are just 9 miles apart.

"Hopefully, they'll catch whoever it is that is doing this," said Davis.

At 5:30 Friday evening, the doors to this Dress Barn are closed. The sign says it all. We're told that several of the Dress Barn stores throughout the area shut down early Friday to talk about this violence.

We've uncovered it's possible the dress barn crimes may be connected to two similar armed robberies in Chesterfield. The first at the Royal nails Salon. The second at Catherine's Plus Sizes. Those crimes happened one day apart, with the bad guy getting away with cash.

Four violent robberies -- spanning three counties -- and one man may be behind it all.

In most of the robberies, the suspect was wearing either a ski mask or dark clothing. If you know anything, call your local police department.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.