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Home  |  News  |  Police: Men dressed up as women rob area businesses

Police: Men dressed up as women rob area businesses

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston police have arrested two North Charleston men who are accused of dressing up as women and robbing three businesses within a period of four days.

Authorities charged 25-year-old Melvin Laurence Gathers with two counts of armed robbery, strong armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime. Joe Louis Brown, 23, was also charged with armed robbery, strong armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and two counts of unlawful carrying of a handgun.

Investigators say two of the robberies happened on Friday on Savannah Highway and the other occurred Monday on Folly Road.

The first robbery happened around 11:30 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn Express at 1943 Savannah Highway. Two men dressed as women entered the business and asked the clerk how much it cost to rent a room.

One of the men then pulled out a handgun and demanded money from the clerk, who ran into the office. The suspects then left the hotel without getting any money.

The second robbery occurred minutes later at the AMF Charleston Lanes at 1963 Savannah Highway when a man dressed as a woman entered the business and demanded money from an employee. The employee started to comply with his demand when the suspect reportedly turned away and walked out of the business.

The third robbery happened at the Arby's on Folly Road on James Island where two armed men entered the restaurant, robbed it and fled on foot.

Gathers is charged in reference to the Holiday Inn Express, AMF Charleston Lanes and Arby's robberies. Brown has also been charged for the Holiday Inn Express and AMF Charleston Lanes robberies.

Police say Brown had two handguns in his possession when he was taken into custody around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at Meeting Street and Harris Street. Gathers was taken into custody by investigators around 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Econo Lodge at 2237 Savannah Highway.

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