FBI and police hunt violent robbing crew

ATLANTA -- The FBI said they are pooling information with three Atlanta area police agencies looking for a connection between at least six violent robberies, including a bank robbery in Smyrna Tuesday.

Three suspects wearing dark clothes and masks robbed the Regions Bank on Cumberland Parkway in a "take over" style robbery, according to Cobb County police. All three suspects were armed with handguns.

"Any time you take guns into a bank, it is a stressful situation for not only the tellers and customers, but also for the robbers," said FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett. "They are very jacked up and a tragedy is just a trigger pull away."

The FBI said the robbery is similar to at least five other robberies, including three banks, dating back to July 1. In all of the robberies the suspects wore masks, but the FBI released surveillance photos Tuesday that show the suspects' faces. The photos were taken at a Kroger store where the suspects allegedly used a stolen credit card.

On August 11, the same suspects are believed to have robbed the Benihana restaurant in Buckhead. Atlanta police released a surveillance video from that crime that showed three suspects roughing up employees. Emmett said the violence shown in that robbery is the same violence the three have shown in the other robberies.

They are also believed to be responsible for a robbery at a Wells Fargo bank in Brookhaven on July 1, and NFCU bank in Buckhead on August 12, 2014, and a strong arm street robbery on Faulkner Road in Atlanta on August 2. The same three are also suspects in a robbery at the Soap Hand Car Wash on Cheshire Bridge Road on August 5.

The FBI is investigating the robberies with Brookhaven Police, Atlanta Police and Cobb County Police. They are hoping someone can identify the suspects from the surveillance photos that show their faces.

"The law enforcement concern is clearly the violence and not the monetary loss," Emmett said. "We are very concerned about it continuing and someone getting hurt."

The FBI and police are asking anyone with information about the robberies to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS (8477).

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