JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Police have released a composite sketch of the man who held up a check cashing store in November in a manner very similar to the robbery of a sister store last month.
The Ace Cash Express on Blanding Boulevard was held up by two men waiting for the first employee to open the business the morning of Nov. 30. She as forced to let them into the business and open the safe.
She was bound with duct tape, blindfolded before the robbers left.
Police released the composite sketch of one of the robbers on Wednesday and provided a description of both men:
- A black man, 6 feet tall, thin build, wearing black shirt and pants with sunglasses.
- A black man, 5 feet 9 to 10 inches tall, thin build, wearing a black and white jacket, black jackets and sunglasses.
This robbery was different but similar to the Jan. 31 robbery of an Ace Cash Express on McDuff Avenue.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, a least two men abducted a woman from her home in Argyle Forest early that morning, forced her to go to her workplace and open the safe.
The victim told police three black male suspects rushed through her front door, and held her and her small child at gunpoint about 8:45 a.m. One suspect then made her get into a vehicle and took the victim to the check cashing store while her young child was left at the residence.
When they arrived at Ace Cash Express, the suspect stole money and fled on foot. The victim's small child was found by police at the home with her hands and feet bound by duct tape.
News4Jax spoke Wednesday evening to the mother of the victim who was kidnapped last month. The woman, who only gave her name as Monae, said her daughter is terrified and has been forced into hiding after being taken from her 3-year-old daughter, kidnapped from her apartment and forced to drive to her job last month.
Monae said three men threatened to kill her if she didn't comply.
"She just looks over her shoulder a lot. She don't know what to do. She can't believe it happened to her because she's a good girl. She's living each day as if it were her last because she's traumatized," said Monae.
News4Jax asked both payday loan offices about the incidents if the offices had installed surveillance video since the robberies and the offices did not disclose any information.
Monae said she's shocked that this happened to someone else and she's upset because her daughter and grandchild could have been killed.
"Her employee that works the night shift told her because she's the manager that three guys had been coming in the store at night. She told my daughter, which is the manager, and she told the GM, but no one did anything about it," Monae said. "She needs help, she needs counseling. They not even accommodating her with that. So the job hasn't done anything for my child."
Monae said her daughter is on a leave of absence from the business and one of the men who kidnapped her, told her, he'd been following her for several months.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said people who work in the banking industry need to always check their surroundings and switch up their route traveling home.
"When you're leaving maybe take a different route, don't take the same route from work every day," Smith said. "When you leave your place of work if there is a car that was in that lot that pulls out behind you, don't go straight home. Go somewhere else and if they pull up at the same location or if they follow you somewhere else, notify police."
JSO said it's unknown if the two incidents are related, but they're looking into both cases since the men are still out there.
Anyone who has any information about the identity of the man in the sketches or others involved in either of of the robberies is asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500, or to remain anonymous and receive a possible reward up to $3,000 contact Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.