Police search for CVS robbery suspects who hit two stores more than 50 times (pics)
The Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office is asking for the public's help in locating several suspects, possibly teens, accused of robbing CVS pharmacy stores in Cleveland's west side.
Two CVS stores have been apparently targeted -- robbed more than 50 times in six months, said prosecutor Michael C. O'Malley.
The store on the 3100 block of West Blvd. has been robbed 24 times, since March 3, according to the O’Malley.
The CVS store on the corner of Madison and West Blvd. has been robbed 32 times since July 27.
Authorities said they believe it's the same group of individuals who is committing the crimes.
On surveillance video provided to Cleveland 19 from the prosecutor’s office, a group of suspects overwhelms a security guard, and rushes into the store. O’Malley said it looked like a swarm of suspects almost loot the store.
"It seems like they take a lot of everything," said O'Malley.
"We cannot let a group of young hooligans come in and ransack our stores, scare our employees and make our residents scared to shop there," says Ward 11 Councilwoman Dona Brady.
"These thefts are causing tens of thousands of dollars of losses to CVS," O'Malley said.
The CVS stores in that area are crucial to the neighborhood said O’Malley and Brady.
“These stores are vital, they really are, to this community. We’re talking about people who, a lot of them don’t have transportation, or can’t go far, so we really feel that they are very fundamental to the fabric of the community,” said Brady.
O’Malley referred to the stores as “anchors” in the community.
Officials said they were concerned that the crime could escalate or spread to other stores, and, they said they are concerned that the persistent robberies will mean CVS doesn’t stay in that part of Cleveland.
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - "The problem obviously with these robberies is they are taking a toll on the viability of these stores. It is critical that our community in the city of Cleveland have viable commercial establishments. These are strong stores, but it is inevitable, if these acts continue, the viability of these stores will be questioned in the future," said O'Malley.
"If it can happen at CVS it can happen anywhere and it has to be stopped right now," Councilwoman Brady says.
The suspects could face charges ranging from theft to robbery, and potentially, armed robbery as a suspect in an incident from this past Saturday had a gun.
If you can identify any of the suspects in the pictures please call Crime Stoppers 216-252-7463 or First District detectives at 216-623-5118.
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