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Schools lock down after store robbery

SNELLVILLE - Two schools locked down briefly Monday morning after an armed robbery was reported at a nearby business, school system officials said.

South Gwinnett High School and W.C. Britt Elementary School secured their campuses while Snellville police searched for a man who robbed the AutoZone on U.S. Highway 78, officials said.

A man brandishing a handgun entered the auto parts store at about 7:30 a.m. and demanded money, said Cpl. Tim Colgan, a detective for the Snellville Police Department.

Two employees in the store gave him an undetermined amount of money from the cash register and the safe, Colgan said.

The gunman left the store, but the employees did not see which way he went because they were in a back room, Colgan said.

The robber was described as a black man who is 6 feet tall and about 30 years old. He was wearing blue jeans, a black jacket and "possibly a skull cap or hat," Colgan said.

No arrest had been made as of press time Monday, and Colgan said the department is investigating the incident.

The lock down at both schools was a "precautionary step," said Sloan Roach, the spokeswoman for Gwinnett County Public Schools. The lock downs were lifted after Snellville police determined the robber was no longer in the area, she said.

Colgan said school resource officers were contacted about the robbery because the schools are across the street and about a quarter of a mile away from the auto parts store. It took about 10 minutes for the department to determine the robber was no longer in the area, he said.