MILWAUKEE — Investigators say they need your help solving eight armed robberies over the past year at four Walgreens stores on Milwaukee's northwest side.
Milwaukee FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Botsch said investigators believe the cases are linked, and the suspects are a "crew of interchanging actors."
Botch is part of the Milwaukee Area Violent Crime Task Force. It's led by the FBI and partners with Milwaukee police, West Allis police, Wauwatosa police, and investigators with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.
A spokesperson for Walgreens referred TMJ4 News to the Milwaukee Police Department for comment.
Investigators say the first in the string of cases happened last May at the Walgreens at 6707 W. Hampton Ave. That's where investigators believe two people flooded the bathroom to try to draw the employees to the back of the store.
"That's when they announced their robbery," Botsch said.
Then investigators say someone drew a gun, demanded the workers open the safe, and ran off.
"Two weeks later, on May 27, 2020, the subjects struck again," Botsch said. "At which point they approached the counter and distracted the teller and initiated the robbery."
Investigators say this happened within two minutes at the Walgreens store at 9040 W. Good Hope Rd.
"What makes these robberies unique, is in each one of them, the actors have targeted safes inside the business establishment, which is a little unusual - that people remain inside a location long enough in order to be able to locate and attack a safe," Botsch said.
Investigators then looked into two cases last August: one at the Walgreens on West Hampton, and the other at 5201 N. 91st St.
Then investigators believe the group targeted the Walgreens at 6442 N. 76th St. three times in a row: once last November, December and February. That's when investigators believe a suspect worked alone, hiding in the store until closing time before he acted.
"The subject actually approached a female employee, grabbing her by the hair, and dragging her back towards the room where the safe was contained," Botsch said. "After dragging her to that room, he held her by gunpoint and demanded she open the safe."
Investigators believe someone again worked alone during the incident at the Walgreens at 9040 W. Good Hope Rd. on March 21.
In all of the cases, investigators say the suspects ran away, and used a firearm and backpack or bag. In total, investigators say they got away with more than $40,000.
"This is not a novice crew," Botsch said. " These are guys that have likely done this before and will do it again."
He says ultimately they need someone to cooperate. If you have information about any of the cases, call the FBI at 414-276-4684. Investigators say there is a reward.
"Someone knows these guys," Botsch said.
Botsch said if you are convicted of brandishing a firearm in the commission of a violent crime, you face a mandatory seven years in a federal penitentiary.