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FBI hunting violent armed robbery crew targeting Asian-owned businesses

The FBI's Atlanta Field Office is looking for a crew behind a series of violent armed robberies of Asian-owned businesses over the past month in metro Atlanta.

The FBI says they are looking for help from the public in locating suspects in connection with a series of at least nine violent armed robberies they said targeted Asian-owned businesses in metro Atlanta between October 7 and November 8.

According to FBI Special Agent in Charge David J. LeValley from the FBI's Atlanta Field Office, the robberies all appear to have been committed by two to three black males. In a release, LeValley described the suspects as being 5-foot-8 to 6 feet tall with thin builds and ranging from their late teens to early-20s. He said that in several of the robberies, the males wore the same clothing.

The nine robberies are described as follows:

1 - October 7 at about 1:12 a.m., an armed robbery occurred at Spring Spa in the 1900 block of Manchester Street NE in Atlanta. Two black males entered the business, initially acting as customers. After requesting massages, they brandished handguns and demanded an employee open an office. The employee opened the office and fled.

As the suspects ransacked the office, a second employee told the men that she had called the police. The suspects fled the business in a red four-door vehicle driven by a third black male. The suspects got away with a purse and a cell phone.

2 - On October 10 at about 10:12 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Cedar Massage in the 6000 block of Bakers Ferry Road in Atlanta. Two black males entered the business, brandishing handguns. They demanded money from an employee there. While one suspect took money from a cash drawer, the second suspect walked through the business, stealing purses from several victims, containing money, cell phones and other items.

The FBI's Atlanta Field Office is looking for a crew behind a series of violent armed robberies of Asian-owned businesses over the past month in metro Atlanta.

3 - On October 13 at about 11:19 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Qi Clay Sauna in the 7100 block of Buford Highway in Atlanta. Two black males entered the business, initially acting as customers. Moments later, the two brandished handguns and demanded money. One suspect hit an employee in the head twice with his gun. The robbers stole money from the cash register along with a purse.

One employee attempted to follow the suspects as they fled. One of the suspects hit the employee and fired his gun several times.

4 - On October 20 at about 7:42 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Lush Nails and Spa in the 3500 block of Northside Parkway in Atlanta. Two black males entered the business brandishing handguns and demanded money from the employee. The robbers struck the employee and a customer who was standing near the cash register. The suspects took the money from the register and stole a purse from a customer after kicking an employee in the head.

5 - On October 24, at about 11:20 p.m., an armed robbery and shooting occurred at Kochi Maru in the 5800 block of Buford Highway in Doraville. Two black males entered and initially acted like customers. One suspect looked at a menu, and the other went to the restroom. When the suspect returned from the restroom, both brandished handguns and demanded money and belongings from employees and customers.

One of the robbers took money from the register. The other suspect approached a group at a table and stole their purses. He then shot two customers, each in the leg. That suspect then approached the cash register area and shot an employee in the back as she knelt on the ground. The two suspects then fled the restaurant.

6 - On October 29, at about 7:53 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Palm Beach Tan in the 2700 block of Lenox Road in Atlanta. One black male entered the business and acted like a customer, saying he needed to get a tan. He then pulled out a handgun and demanded money. The suspect took the money and fled the store.

7 - On November 3, at about 7 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Royal Massage in the 3300 block of Holcomb Bridge Road in Norcross. Two black males entered the business brandishing handguns and demanding money. The suspects took money from the cash register and a purse containing cash and other items.

8 - On November 8, at about 8 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at Empress Massage in the 1900 block of Day Drive in Duluth. Two black males entered the business, initially acting like customers. After a moment, the two pulled out handguns and demanded money. They got away with cash from the register and a purse.

9 - On November 8 at about 8:50 p.m., an armed robbery occurred at BD Spa and Wellness Massage in the 1500 block of East Park Place Boulevard in Stone Mountain. Two black males entered the business and initially acted like customers. When the employee told the two the business was closed, the suspects pulled out guns and demanded money. One of the suspects hit a customer in the head with his handgun. The suspects stole a wallet from a customer as well as the employee's cell phone.

The suspects are using a red or maroon colored 2004 through 2008 model year Pontiac Grand Prix with a temporary tag on it.

One of the suspects appears to have a tattoo under his right eye. He wears a gold watch on his left wrist. Both suspects appear to be about 5-foot-10 inches tall with slim builds and are in their late teens to mid-20s.

A third suspect generally is driving the getaway car.

Anyone with information regarding these suspects is asked to contact Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477. Those calling in tips may remain anonymous.

PHOTOS | FBI looking for violent robbing crew