RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Seven Hills Studio on North 25th Street in Richmond's Church Hill neighborhood has been allegedly robbed twice by the same suspect in the last month and a half.
Around 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 25, police say a man entered the studio and demanded money from the cashier. Elizabeth Nall, the owner of the salon said the man told the cashier he had a gun but he never showed it. He made off with cash.
"Someone just walked through the front door," Nall, "We had someone at the front desk. He didn't actually pull a gun out he just said he had one and asked for the money."
Nall said this same man robbed her store a little over a month ago too, on June 11. In that case, a similar situation happened. Nall installed cameras and started locking her door during business hours.
"We were told by the detective it was really, really unlikely it would happen again," Nall said. "The chances of being caught when you've done it twice is higher so it should be a deterrent."
But last Wednesday, as they were unlocking the door to let a customer out, the salon was robbed again, allegedly by the same person. She said the unknown man walked into the store, told her cashier that he was armed with a gun and to hand over the money in the cash register.
Both times a weapon was never displayed. The suspect is described as a black male who was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with "ASCEND" written on the front.
"This is information that other businesses should be aware of and the community should be aware of and be talking about," Nall said.
Earlier in the day on July 25, according to Nall, the suspect tried to rob a store called Gather, owned by Melissa Micou on East Marshall Street.
According to Micou, the same man walked into that store and said he wanted to ask her a question. Micou, who says her business was closed but the door was open because they are moving locations, felt something wasn't right. The man was wearing a black hoodie, with the hood on, in 90-degree weather and the hood was covering most of his face. At the moment this correspondence was happening, the door was blown open by the wind and Micou ran out of the store.
She says she said to the suspect, "If you have a question, you can ask me out here." Micou's neighbor saw the commotion and walked over and eventually the suspect walked out and away, never asking Micou the question.
According to Nall, Micou called the police, but the 911 operator would not take a description over the phone since Micou had left the business. Nothing was done. A few hours later, Nall's salon was robbed.
Micou saw the surveillance video and identified that alleged robber as the same man who walked into her business.
Emergency Communications is investigating the situation with the 911 operator.
"That was a missed opportunity," Nall said. "I think something could have been done; there could have been more of a response to that."
Meanwhile, Nall is speaking out in hopes of catching this guy. She also plans to take even more preventative measures to protect her business.
"We're thinking about going cashless entirely," Nall said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call First Precinct Detective J. Mitchell at 804-646-0569 or Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000. The P3 Tips Crime Stoppers app for smartphones may also be used. All Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.
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