SPARKS, NV - Washoe Sheriff's detectives are investigating the latest in a series of area supermarket robberies and their most promising lead at this point may be the robber's unusual getaway vehicle.
Security camera video caught the robber as he walked into the Sav-Mart Supermarket on the Pyramid Highway at Eagle Canyon Road at 6:14 Thursday morning.
He's well-covered, dressed all in black, gloves, hat and face covering, but he's believed to be a white male 5-11 to 6-1, 190 to 210 pounds.
The man walks to the slot machine area. Brandishing a firearm, he orders the clerk on the ground, opens a pair of drawers with a crowbar, takes some cash and leaves.
He leaves on a bicycle, pedals around to the back of the store, walks through the bushes and trees to Rockwell Boulevard on the other side. He leaves the bike there and flees apparently in another vehicle.
With so little in the way of a description of the robber himself, it's the bike that offers the most immediate lead. It's a BMX type bike, a Free Agent Eluder 24, gray silver in color. Made in 2008, it was sold only in one local store.
"Our hope is that someone is going to recognize this bicycle," says Washoe Sheriff's Detective Sgt. Tom Green. "Either it was stolen and not reported, someone's seen this guy on this bike before or maybe it was recently sold in like a private party sale, something like that."
No one was injured in the incident, but investigators are concerned about the potential.
"What if the clerk had had a medical condition as a result of this robbery or there was an armed citizen or off-duty police officer in the store at that time. It just escalates it when someone takes it to that level and uses force to take property."
Green says the sheriff's office is comparing notes with other local agencies trying to determine if this latest robbery is connected with four other recent robberies, at least one also involving a bicycle.
"There are some similarities"
Secret Witness has posted a $1,500 reward for information leading to arrest and prosecution. Their number is 322-4900. Callers may remain anonymous while collecting cash rewards.