The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Police believe 11 robberies are linked
A Maryland man has been identified as a possible suspect in a series of recent robberies, including two near the Interstate 95 exit in Fredericksburg.
At least 11 stores in Fredericksburg, Prince William and Fairfax County have been robbed by two gunmen between Aug. 9 and Sept. 6. Police departments in those localities are working together on the robbery spree and believe that all of the robberies were committed by the same people. A warrant has been issued in one of the Prince William cases.
Edward George Russell, 23, whose last known address was in Upper Marlboro, Md., is charged with robbery and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with an Aug. 9 robbery at a Sunoco station in Woodbridge. As in the other cases, two men entered the store that evening and robbed a clerk at gunpoint.
Police in Prince William later identified Russell as one of the robbers but have been unable to find him or to identify the second man. No charges have been filed in any of the other cases, including the two in Fredericksburg and four others in Prince William.
Russell was in jail on unrelated charges between Aug. 10 and Aug. 20, police said. None of the robberies occurred during that time.
The Fredericksburg robberies linked to the two men occurred on Fridays at businesses on Plank Road a short distance from the I-95 exit. The Shell station at 2301 Plank Road was robbed on Aug. 23, and the Handy Mart at 3054 Plank Road was robbed exactly two weeks later.
In both cases, two men approached the counter and one of them displayed a handgun while demanding money. They got away with an undisclosed amount both times.
Anyone with information on the Fredericksburg cases is asked to call Detective Ben Johnson at 654-5792 or the main city police number at 373-3122.