A “scrawny” robber who wears a hood or mask and implies having a weapon is targeting small businesses in Northwest Indiana, police say.
He’s hit nine businesses in Lake County, from a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop to a tanning salon, police said.
The businesses have been in Highland, Munser, St. John and Griffith, according to police.
Business owners have reached out to police saying they’re concerned, Highland police Cmdr. John Banasiak told the Times of Northwest Indiana.
"We want them to be aware of it, so they can be vigilant," he told the paper.
Police don’t know if the robber actually carries a weapon in the robberies, saying whatever is seen in his hand wrapped in a plastic bag on surveillance video is hard to identify.
Employees should assume it is a gun, Banasiak said, and do what the robber says if they find themselves in such a situation.
"It's not worth taking the risk over property that can be replaced," he told the newspaper.
The suspect in the robberies is described as white or light-skinned Hispanic and 5 foot, 5 inches tall to 5-foot-7, with a thin or scrawny build and small stature.
Police have increased patrols in the area.
Anyone with information on the robberies is asked to call Michigan City Detective Cpl. Tim Baker at 219-874-3221 at extension 1075.