Fairfax County Police detectives are on the hunt for a man that they say robbed a Mount Vernon-area gas station twice in three days, including one holdup during which he tried to hit the clerk in the face with a hammer.
The robberies both took place at the Mobil gas station at 8156 Richmond Highway in Alexandria. The first happened at about 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 26, while the second occurred around 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 28.
Police say he actually returned a third time within the same week.
"He was not able to enter the business because the doors were still locked, but he actually had a knife in his hand that time," says Officer Shelley Broderick of the Fairfax County police.
In both robberies, the suspect, who is wearing a black, hooded coat and gloves, walked into the convenience store and demanded the clerk open the cash register, yelling, "Open it!" during both robberies.
The suspect is notably more aggressive in the second robbery, attempting to strike the clerk in the head with a hammer before demanding the money in the register.
"This man should be behind bars already before he can really hurt somebody," says Fairfax resident Deal Hudson.
Police also say a third attempt by the same suspect at the same gas station, which took place on Feb. 1, was foiled by the gas station clerk. On that day, police say the suspect wore a mask and brandished a knife, but the attendant locked the door before he could get in.
Fairfax County Police describe the suspect as a black, 5-foot-7 man in his 30s or 40s. He has a light complexion and possibly a mustache.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fairfax County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS or at www.fairfaxcrimesolvers.org.