Men wearing Halloween masks target multiple businesses - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Men wearing Halloween masks target multiple businesses

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CARBONDALE -- A string of armed robberies involving two men wearing Halloween masks has police looking for new clues.

"I think it's all just a Hollywood conspiracy," SIU student Andrew Greene said. 

He may have been joking, but Carbondale Police sure aren't.

Sgt. Amber Ronketto said the first case of two masked men targeting a business was in mid-July at a Citgo on South Illinois Avenue.

There have been four other incidents in Carbondale and one in Herrin involving two men wearing Halloween masks. The most recent was Tuesday night at the Roll'N'Up at 600 E. Main St.

Ronketto said the suspects in each case look similar: both black males, roughly six feet tall, about 190 pounds.

"Just your normal average sized person," Ronketto said, adding that it makes the search difficult when several people fit the description.

Ronketto also said it's possible suspects are mimicking other previous robberies.

The descriptions have come purely from witnesses. Investigators are examining surveillance video from each robbery, but they're too grainy to help much.

Other than the Halloween masks and similar descriptions, Ronketto said it's tough to say they're all related.

"We're treating them as individual cases and just comparing the similarities at this time," Ronketto said. "We haven't for sure said they're all connected but it seems likely."

That includes T.J. Cowan of Carterville. He said the media and Hollywood may have influenced the suspects...

"I think a lot of things focus around just some good ideas that people try to duplicate and then use to go into crime," Cowan said.

Police are still looking for the suspects and Ronketto said if you're a business owner, there's a few things you can do to protect yourself.

"Pay attention to everybody coming in your store, making sure that they're there for a legitimate reason and they're not just wandering around your store looking at your safety features that you have in place or your telephones or things like that," Ronketto said.

If you have any information, contact Carbondale Police at (618) 457-3200.

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