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New Jersey robbery suspect linked to other crimes?

Police believe that a New Jersey man accused of an armed robbery of a Virginia store is also behind similar robberies in the area.

Law enforcement officials say the 34-year-old suspect may be the same man who robbed a Harrisonburg, Virginia, store and attempted to rob a convenience store in nearby Middletown in September of 2009.

In the Middletown incident, a man entered the store with a bandana covering his face and pointed an air pistol at the clerk. The man forced the clerk behind the counter and told him to empty the cash from the register.

The clerk did not believe the robber was serious because the weapon was not a real gun. The clerk told the man that it would take more than an air gun to get the money in the register. The clerk attempted to get the suspect out of the store by lunging at him. That effort failed but the robber left the store anyway, telling the clerk that he should have surrendered the cash from the till.

The robber reportedly told the clerk that he liked him.

The suspect is being held in jail on robbery charges stemming from a recent incident at another convenience store in Harrisonburg. In the recent incident, the man wore a mask and brandished a weapon.

According to police, a man took the cash register from the store and was seen running down the street carrying it in his arms.

The suspect allegedly assaulted the clerk behind the counter, who was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Police in other jurisdictions are evaluating other robberies in their locales for similarities that could link the man to those incidents.

Source: "Similarities link robbery suspect to other crimes" by Alex Bridges: Sept. 16, 2011