“As of this writing there have been no positive leads in locating the suspect,” spokesman Sgt. Joey Smith said in an email. “Observe your protection and store safety protocols and be aware of your surroundings. If anyone is suspicious or makes you feel uncomfortable, contact 911.”
A one-man crime wave was traced to suspect Artavius Brown, 23, of Stone Mountain, who allegedly wielded a semi-automatic handgun during two Dollar General robberies within two days earlier this month.
“We have connected Brown to two Henry County robberies and he is wanted for armed robbery in several metro Atlanta area robberies,” Smith said.
Brown’s capture is sought by several jurisdictions, Smith said, including DeKalb County where Brown is wanted for 13 armed robberies.
“Henry County Police along with DeKalb County and several other metro Atlanta agencies are working on any leads for information concerning [Brown’s] whereabouts,” Smith said.
The public is being asked for help through Be On the Lookout, or BOLO, notices posted on social media like the Henry police department’s Twitter feed @HenryCoPolice.
“We are affiliated with Crime Stoppers Atlanta and also receive tips from our Facebook viewers,” Smith said.
Brown’s elusiveness, even with so many detectives and informants on the case, may be the result of assistance from accomplices.
“He may be in hiding or have help from friends or other suspects,” Smith said.
Although he could not disclose what evidence police have against Brown, Smith said they are confident the perpetrator will be in custody shortly.
“We believe that he may have fled the Atlanta area but anticipate his arrest will be soon,” Smith said.
DeKalb Police spokeswoman Mekka Parish said the arrest warrants have been turned over to the fugitive squad of that county’s sheriff’s office, but the robber is also wanted by Atlanta, Lithonia, Lilburn and Gwinnett County authorities.
“The number is more than 20 armed robberies in the metro area,” she said. “They’re Family Dollar and Dollar General stores.”
Parish said the amount taken from each store “has not been determined,” nor have detectives found a motive for the robber’s predilection for discount chains, which are usually in lower-income neighborhoods.
But she said the accomplice theory is valid.
“There’s a car connected [in this case],” Parish said. “He’s possibly had someone parked nearby. That means he hadn’t gone into these robberies blindly, that he has done research on the locations.”
She disagreed, however, on Brown’s leaving the area.
“We believe he is still local,” Parish said.