Bandits could be linked to pool hall robbery

LILBURN - Police investigating two daylight robberies in the Lilburn area Aug. 2 aren't ruling out that the crimes could be linked.

An investigator said Wednesday two black men could have perpetrated both robberies that occurred within hours of each other.

The first heist was at a Blockbuster video store at 4155 Lawrenceville Highway just after the store opened. Two black men wearing baseball caps with their faces covered robbed a Blockbuster employee for an undisclosed amount after one assailant pointed a handgun, said Lilburn Police investigator Jeff Kinney.

Kinney said one suspect was about 6 feet 4 inches tall, the other 5 feet 8 inches. The men fled the area in a beige GMC Yukon, which they had parked behind the business in a wooded area.

Hours later, suspects matching the men's description robbed a pool hall at Burns Road and Indian Trail Road, an area under Gwinnett County Police Department jurisdiction.

Cpl. Illana Spellman, Gwinnett Police spokeswoman, said investigators are "exhausting all leads" in the pool hall robbery but have yet to name suspects.

"The Lilburn robbery suspects may or may not be the same," Spellman said. "Our investigators are trying to determine that at this time."

Lilburn police have gathered surveillance footage of the robbers from within Blockbuster and from a nearby retirement home parking lot, Kinney said. No injuries were reported in the unusual heist, he said.

"I'm not familiar with (a video store robbery) ever happening before," Kinney said. "I think it's just a random act.

"I don't know what prompted them to hit this business, I really don't."