Crime & Courts

Armed robberies at four businesses may be connected, police say

Juarez Bakery, 2209 S. Seneca
Juarez Bakery, 2209 S. Seneca The Wichita Eagle

Wichita police are exploring the possibility that the same man robbed four local businesses this week, and they want the public to call 911 or Crime Stoppers if they spot him or have any information that leads to his arrest.

Even though the types of businesses vary, the suspect descriptions given by witnesses of robberies at Juarez Bakery on Monday and at Rituals Salon, Autism Avenue Flower & Gift Shoppe and a south-side Taco Grande on Wednesday are similar enough that police say they may be connected, police Sgt. Nikki Woodrow said Thursday.

In each of the robberies, a black man in his 40s enters the business with his hands in his pockets, tells people inside he has a weapon but doesn’t show it and demands cash. After getting money, he flees before authorities arrive.

The robber has worn blue jeans, a gray hooded sweatshirt and camouflage jacket – or some combination of those pieces of clothing – during each of the holdups, Woodrow said

Juarez Bakery, 2209 S. Seneca, was robbed of about $230 at 2:45 p.m. on Monday, according to a police report. The suspect left in a stolen gray 2001 Buick Century with Kansas tags 112 GBJ.

Rituals Salon, 1518 W. Douglas, was robbed at 10:25 a.m. on Wednesday.

Autism Avenue Flower & Gift Shoppe, 2401 W. 13th St., was robbed of nearly $450 less than two hours later, at 12:15 p.m. on Wednesday, another report said.

And the Taco Grande, 2255 S. Seneca, was robbed at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. That suspect also left in a gray or white Buick, Woodrow said.

“I can’t say if these are all the same individual,” Woodrow said. But, she said, “the descriptions match, definitely.”

“We’re trying to get any surveillance that we can to get out to see if anybody recognizes him.”

Anyone with information about the robberies or who knows or spots the suspect or the getaway car in each is asked to call 911 or Wichita-Sedgwick County Crime Stoppers at 316-267-2111. Crime Stoppers tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward if their information leads to an arrest.

Amy Renee Leiker: 316-268-6644, @amyreneeleiker