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Crime

NORMAL — Police are looking for two men who robbed an auto parts store in northeast Normal Tuesday night.

Normal Assistant Police Chief Eric Klingele said police were notified of the armed robbery at O’Reilly Auto Parts at 401 Greenbriar Drive around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“The suspects appear to be two black males wearing dark clothes, with hoodies covering their heads,” Klingele said. “They displayed a gun and took cash.”

There are no available photographs or video of the robbery, he added.

Authorities are investigating to see if there is a link to previous, unsolved robberies in the Twin Cities. On May 8, Bloomington police investigated a robbery of Casey’s General Store in the 3000 block of Gill Street by two suspects, described as black men wearing masks, hoods and gloves.

“It is tough to tell since we don’t have any footage, but it is quite possible that this could be linked to other cases in Bloomington and we will be touching base with them to compare notes,’' said Klingele.

The armed robbery Tuesday night was at least the 10th armed robbery reported in the Twin Cities this year, and the fourth in the last month.

At 8:30 a.m. on April 18, police were called to the Subway restaurant at 2310 E. Oakland Ave. where two men entered the business, went into a restricted employee-only area, displayed a knife and demanded money.

The first suspect is described as a heavy-set black man in his mid-20s or early 30s. He wore a dark hoodie and dark track pants with a red stripe down the legs with black shoes and a reflective construction vest.

The second suspect is described as a black man of average build, also in his late 20s or early 30s, with partial facial hair. He wore a dark hoodie, dark pants and dark gloves with a black and gray backpack, a reflective safety vest and  possibly safety glasses.

At 1:50 p.m. on April 29, police were called to Six Points Food and Liquor at Morris Avenue and Six Points Road. Those two suspects are described as black men between 30 and 35 years of age. Both wore black clothing with their faces partially covered. One suspect was wearing glasses or goggles and had facial hair.

One of the suspects was armed with a gun; they demanded money from a store employee. The suspects left on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

At 7:30 p.m. on May 3, Boost Mobile, 603 S. Center St., just south of downtown Bloomington, was robbed. An employee described the robbers as three men wearing masks and said two of them displayed guns.

An undisclosed number of phones were taken from the store and the suspects fled in an unknown vehicle, police said Saturday.

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Contact Kevin Barlow at (309) 820-3238. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_barlow

Agriculture Reporter

Agriculture reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.