Three crimes reported in 30 minute span, police investigate

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COLUMBIA- The Columbia Police Department is still investigating three separate incidents that happened within 30 minutes of each other Wednesday night. Two were robberies and one was an attempted robbery.

CPD officers were dispatched to a robbery at the 2200 block of Paw Print Lane at 7:20 p.m., police said. A woman said she was approached by two men armed with handguns. The suspects took her purse and fled the scene on foot, according to CPD. The woman was was not hurt.

Officers said they responded to another armed robbery at 7:36 p.m on Clark Lane and Eastwood Drive. Two men said two suspects took their wallets and fled the scene. Neither of the victims were hurt.

At 7:44 p.m. another female was unhooking a trailer on Sapphire Court when she was approached by two male suspects with a gun, authorities said. She said the suspects looked for money, but couldn't find anything and then left the scene on foot. She was not hurt.

Police said the suspects in all three incidents fit the same description. 

Dave Cunningham, the husband of the victim of the attempted robbery on Sapphire Court, said he was surprised when he received a call from his wife, saying she had been held up at gunpoint. 

"Complete shocker," he said. "Been here five years, never had an issue, never had a problem."

Cunningham said he believed the suspects approached his wife randomly.

"When you've got two people that are overpowering, she didn't know what to do," he said.

Following the incident, Cunningham said he spoke with neighbors about keeping an eye out for suspicious cars in the area.

"Let's pay attention to the year, make and model, the color, maybe jot down a license plate," he said. "Everybody should know what everybody drives."

Public Relations Officer Latisha Stroer said CPD have not identified the suspects in the robberies and attempted robbery.

Stroer said the victims of each incident appear to be randomly targeted.

"To me, it just seemed random," she said. "People out and about in their neighborhood."

Stroer said although CPD cannot necessarily assume a connection between the three incidents, the similarity in the suspects descriptions was notable.

"In all the robberies the suspects were similar in description," she said. "Both black males, similar in height, both wearing dark clothing, same MO of the type of victims that were approached and what they were doing."

Stroer said CPD is assuming the suspects drove to the different locations, but have not determined the vehicle used. 

"We don't really have a good vehicle description of the suspects," she said.

Stroer said CPD has spoken with the victims and canvassed the neighborhoods and said the investigation is ongoing. 

Anyone with information should contact the Columbia Police Department or Crimestoppers at (573) 875-TIPS to remain anonymous.                             

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