Man on parole main suspect in clothing store robberies

Darrell Lamont Harris
Darrell Lamont Harris

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - Police in several jurisdictions are interested in one man sitting in jail this afternoon.  They believe Darrell Harris may have something to do with several armed robberies at women's clothing stores.

The most recent robbery happened at the Dress Barn in Colonial Heights.

About an hour before closing police say Harris walked into the Dress Barn near Southpark mall with a gun.  They say he covered his face with a mask and forced customers and employees into a backroom.  Police say after stealing money from the cash register, he took the people in the store.  But he didn't get very far, police caught him in Richmond.

Harris faces numerous charges including:

  • Use of a firearm
  • Wearing a mask in public
  • Robbery
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
  • Larceny
  • 9 counts of abduction

"They were not free to leave at that point that becomes an abduction," says Sgt. Robert Ruxer, Colonial Heights Police Department.

The armed robbery has other workers in the area on high alert.

"Sometimes we go out in groups or we look around. And if we see suspicious things we report it and alert police," says Rahel Tsige who works at the mall.

The robbery at this Dress Barn is similar to other cases dating back to the beginning of the year.  The events are the same: just before closing, a man in a mask walks in, threatens employees with a gun and demands money.

Surveillance photos were taken from a case that happened in Chesterfield in January.

Now police in Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover and Richmond are comparing notes, to see if Harris is the man they've been looking for.

Police say he is on parole for similar robberies and just got out of jail last year.

No word yet from police in the other counties if Harris is connected to the other armed robberies.

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