by: Andrew Doud Updated:
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - Police in Kannapolis and Concord are working to find out if a string of armed robberies over the past week are connected.
Police said in many cases, the suspect wears white face paint. But they're having a hard time figuring out who the suspect is.
Steve Morris owns the Historic Gem Theater in downtown Kannapolis.
"We've been in business here for 76 years and to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time anything like this has ever happened," Morris said.
He said Friday night, a crowd of moviegoers had just filed in when a man walked up to the ticket window and demanded money. At first, the woman behind the window didn't think he was serious, until the man threatened to pull a gun.
“It certainly makes us feel uncomfortable that something like that could happen. Although we all know that can happen to anybody at any time,” Morris said.
Police reviewing surveillance video are having a difficult time figuring out who it is because of the poor quality.
But they don't think this is the only place he's hit.
"He is so all over the place, it's difficult to identify any potential threat,” said Lt. Terry Spry with the Kannapolis Police Department.
Police believe the same suspect, described as a man wearing white face paint, held up a convenience store on North Main Street Thursday night as well.
Two hours later, police said, he may have been the same person to hit a shoe store on North Cannon Boulevard.
They're also looking to see if he may be the same man involved in a robbery just before 11 p.m. on Thursday. However, that suspect was not wearing face paint.
"He's hit three times, possibly four locations in a matter of two days. I think it's pretty high that he's going to do it again," Spry said.
Police have interviewed witnesses and are looking to see if there is more surveillance video.
And while the gunman remains on the loose, Morris believes his customers are safe.
"I think the likelihood of it happening again is extremely remote," he said.
Concord Police are also looking into the possibility that the man robbed a Family Dollar on Friday around 6:45. They said he was wearing a jacket and gloves when he walked up to register, demanded money and flashed a gun.