Gwinnett County Police detectives have arrested two men in connection with close to ten robberies of Asian restaurant owners and employees from April to August.
In each of the cases, Cpl. Jake Smith says the suspects would follow the victims from their restaurants to their homes and snatch the women’s purses, sometimes at gunpoint.
“In some of the cases these victims did have their cash deposits from the day or from the week… some cases they only got an employee for just a few dollars in their wallets or purses,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
Smith says it appears each of the robberies was well planned from doing surveillance on the restaurants ahead of time to planning escape routes from the victims’ houses.
Police were able to identify Darnell Rice as one of the suspects after realizing he spent time in jail for a series of robberies in 2009 that used the exact same method of operation.
Rice and the second suspect, Felix Pierson, were arrested last week in a joint operation by Gwinnett County Police and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department after detectives here received intelligence that the two were planning a robbery in Orlando.
Both face numerous charges included multiple counts of armed robbery.
Joy Wang is happy to know the two men are off the streets. Her parents who own Happy China in Lawrenceville were robbed in front of their home in June after leaving their restaurant.
“Now that they’ve been arrested we have a sense of relief because we’ve had to look over our shoulder every night that we go home,” she says.