Spartanburg police offer holiday safety tips following 3 armed robberies on west side

Heading into the Thanksgiving shopping weekend, Spartanburg police are advising residents to be careful after three armed robberies were reported on the city’s west side.

The first incident, a reported armed robbery and kidnapping, happened around 9:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, at the Spinx station at 1605 John B. White Sr. Blvd., according to Maj. Art Littlejohn.

An 18-year-old man told police he was approached by two men in the parking lot of 1529 John B. White Sr. Blvd., near the Wasabi Japanese Restaurant.

The two men showed a firearm and demanded he drive to an ATM and withdraw money. The suspects then fled the scene after receiving an undisclosed amount of cash. The victim was not injured, Littlejohn said.

The second incident happened around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in the parking lot at Olive Garden at 1498 W.O. Ezell Blvd., Littlejohn said.

Three victims told police they had just finished eating at the restaurant and were walking to their vehicle when they were approached by two men with a firearm who asked for money, Littlejohn said.

The suspects took the victims’ personal belongings, including phones and wallets, he said.

The victims were made to drive to an ATM where they withdrew an undisclosed amount of cash. The suspects fled the area on foot with the money. No one was physically harmed, Littlejohn said.

The third incident happened around 2:56 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 21, as officers responded to an attempted armed robbery and carjacking at the Spinx station at 1605 John B. White Blvd., he said.

A woman told police she had just finished pumping gas when a man with a handgun approached her driver’s side window and asked her for money, Littlejohn said.

The man showed the handgun and told her to get out of the vehicle. The woman rolled up her window and sped away, and was not injured, Littlejohn said.

Police are investigating all three incidents. Anyone with information can call anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC or the Spartanburg Police Department at 864-596-2065.

Safety tips

Littlejohn offered these holiday safety tips:

► Park vehicles in well-lighted areas and if shopping before-the-sunrise’s; Black Friday shoppers, be sure to park near lights.

► Avoid parking next to large vans and trucks that block your view from the vision of others.

► Remember to keep your vehicle locked at all times.

► If possible, walk with a partner.

► Always have keys in hand when approaching your vehicle.

► Do not leave tempting/valuable items in plain view.

► Put all items in the trunk where they are secure and out of sight.

► When possible, take shopping bags directly home instead of leaving them in the car.

► If you see suspicious activity, call police immediately.

Contact Bob Montgomery at [email protected]

This article originally appeared on Herald-Journal: Spartanburg police offer holiday safety tips following 3 robberies