2 auto parts stores robbed

Published On: Mar 21 2014 06:22:39 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 21 2014 07:56:20 PM EDT

VIDEO: There's a neighborhood crime alert for local businesses on the Southside. Two O'Reilly Auto Parts stores were robbed at gunpoint.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Police are investigating two robberies at separate O'Reilly Auto Parts. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office are treating each robbery as a separate incident, but said say there are similarities they can't ignore.

Both robberies happened as the stores were opening and the robbers were wearing masks.

"These suspects are armed and dangerous. They're violent," said Melissa Bujeda, JSO spokeswoman.

The first robbery happened last Saturday morning at the Beach Boulevard location. The second, just a few miles away, happened Wednesday morning on Atlantic Boulevard. 

Jason Smith works at C&G Collision, across the street from the Arlington Boulevard store, and regularly does business at O'Reilly's.

"Kind of brings reality in. Especially someone you work with and know. That's upsetting," said Smith.

Police said the Saturday robbery had three masked men with guns. They entered the store and demanded cash from the safe, and left in a silver Nissan Versa.

"There's a little bit of difference. But nothing majorly that would say it's not the same people. So even though we have two separate cases, we're looking at them as if they may possibly be related," said Bujeda.

Police say they don't have a good description of any of the robbers, because of the masks, but note that in one of the holdups, they were polite, saying, "Give us your wallets, please" and thanking the victims for their cooperation. In the meantime, they're asking businesses and their workers to stay on high alert.

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