RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) - CVS drug stores in Raleigh and Chapel Hill were robbed within an hour of each other early Monday morning, officials say.
Police said they were investigating if the robberies — each of which consisted of a trio of thieves — are connected.
The first robbery happened around 2:30 a.m. at the store at the corner of Fordham Boulevard and Ephesus Church Rd., Chapel Hill police said.
Then, about 45 minutes later, the CVS at 2411 Landmark Dr. in Raleigh was robbed, Raleigh police said.
In both cases, three suspects were involved with two armed men entering the store and conducting the robbery. A third man stayed outside the CVS in both robberies, officials said.
"The guy said, 'OK, let's go. Let's get it. Give me all the money.' So, we opened up the registers for them. They did their thing. Then they said you've got to take us to the safe. We said OK," a clerk at the Raleigh CVS said in a 911 call to police.
Chapel Hill police said the three men were dressed in dark clothing and were wearing masks. One suspect was wearing what was described as "a Jason mask," Chapel Hill officials said in a news release.
An image released by Raleigh police also showed a suspect in "a Jason mask," which is a white hockey mask.
Raleigh officials did not say what kind of weapons were used, but guns were used in the Chapel Hill theft, police said.
In Raleigh, the suspects ran away from the store.
Chapel Hill police called in K-9 units to track the suspects. They were led to the University Inn.
From there, Chapel Hill police said they believe the robbers fled in a vehicle. There were no injuries.
"The police department is working with neighboring agencies to determine any possible connections with similar cases in the area," a Chapel Hill news release said.
Chapel Hill Police said late-night shoppers should be aware of surroundings even before going inside.
Captain Danny Lloyd said if there's something suspicious, like someone in a mask, don't enter the store.
"If they are dressed in a way that's not appropriate for the weather; wearing a long coat in the summertime, something unusual. I would hesitate to go into a store if I see that happening," he said.
Lloyd added that a person inside a store that becomes the target of thieves should remain calm and try to take a mental note of as much detail as possible to share with officers once they arrive.
"Try to be cooperative. Do not try to be a hero. Our main concern is people being safe," Lloyd said.
Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to call the Chapel Hill Police Department at 919-968-2760 or Crime Stoppers at 919-942-7515.
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