Similarities in two recent crimes cited by Cornelius officials

Shortly after 9:30 p.m. on March 19, Cornelius Police responded to a reported armed robbery at the Baseline Market & Deli at 1206 Baseline St.

“An unidentified male wearing a ski mask and trench coat entered the Baseline Market & Deli, where he displayed a handgun and ordered the store clerk to open the cash register,” said Lt. Joe Noffsinger.

Police officers, assisted by a police patrol dog, were unable to locate him.

The suspect in the robbery is described as being a white male, approximately 6 feet tall with a skinny build. He was wearing a black pullover ski mask and a long brown trench coat.

The Baseline robbery comes just nine days after another robbery in Cornelius, and law enforcement officials say they’re taking the crimes very seriously.

“Armed robberies are not that common in Cornelius, though we do tend to get a few every year,” said Cornelius’ interim police chief, Ken Summers.

On Sunday, March 10, officers had responded to a robbery call at the Walgreens store at 115 N. 20th Ave. In that incident, a man wearing a ski mask entered Walgreens at around 9:45 p.m. and demanded money from an employee.

The unidentified suspect took money from the register, put it in a plastic bag and then ran from the store.

Responding officers searched the area with the assistance of a Hillsboro Police Department tracking dog, but were unable to locate the suspect. Police are seeking a man described as white, approximately 6 feet tall and weighing 190 to 200 pounds. He was wearing a black pullover ski mask, a dark, long-sleeved sweatshirt and dark gray or faded black slacks, white ankle socks and black sport shoes.

Summers said his agency is considering whether the crimes were carried out by the same person.

“Due to the relatively short time span between these two incidents, the similarity in suspect descriptions and the times they occurred, we are investigating the possibility that they could be connected,” Summers explained. “We have no firm evidence to go on, just a suspicion.”

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