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4 Cook Out heists, 1 robbery method

Police in four communities across the Piedmont are now involved in the search for what appears to be the same man involved in a series of Cook Out restaurant robberies.

Cook Out, a North Carolina-based fast food chain, has been the target of a robber in Mecklenburg, Lincoln, Rowan and Union counties. The first case was nearly a month ago. The most recent was Saturday.

No injuries have been reported, but police say the robber fired a handgun in at least two cases.

Police say the description of the robber has been similar in all four cases. And the robberies took place around 7 a.m.

The suspect in the cases has been described as a black male, somewhere between 5 feet 8 inches and 6 feet tall, about 25 years old. He had shoulder-length dreadlocks. He was wearing black clothing and carrying a blue-and-gray or blue-and-black bookbag. He wore a ski mask to cover the bottom half of his face.

The first case was reported about 7 a.m. Dec. 22 at the Cook Out on N.C. 73 in eastern Lincoln County.

In that robbery, a man shot through the glass in the rear door, entered the restaurant, and demanded that the manager open the safe and turn over the money.

Lincoln County sheriff’s deputies said the suspect was driving a red 2012 to 2014 Toyota Camry, either an LE or XLE model.

Then came the Charlotte robbery, on Jan. 13 at the Cook Out on Sardis Road North.

An armed man entered the restaurant and demanded money from employees. He drove off, but employees did not get a description of the vehicle.

The Indian Trail robbery was Wednesday, and the Salisbury case was Saturday. In that robbery, police say, the man once again shot out the window in the door so he could enter the building.

A spokeswoman for Cook Out restaurants did not return a call for information Tuesday.

Anyone with information in the cases is asked to contact Crime Stoppers in Mecklenburg County, 704-334-1600; or Crime Stoppers in Rowan County, 866-639-4245.

Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
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