CORALVILLE — Police are investigating whether a pair of armed robberies at two Coralville restaurants are part of a larger robbery spree in the area.
Coralville police said two men entered the Wendy’s on Commerce Drive around 1:17 a.m. Wednesday and robbed the restaurant. The men, who were dressed in black pants, gray hooded sweatshirts, skeleton ski masks and gloves, pulled a handgun and demanded cash from the business and employees. They fled southwest on foot from the business.
Less than 24 hours later, police responded to Pancheros, 901 25th Ave., at 12:22 a.m. Thursday for a reported armed robbery. Police said a suspect entered the restaurant armed with a black handgun and demanded cash. He was described as being 20-40 years old, 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches tall, 140 to 180 pounds and wearing black pants, a black hooded sweatshirt, a black or blue fleece gaiter and gray shoes with green accents.
The armed robberies are the latest in a string of robberies that have hit Iowa City and Coralville in recent months. Iowa City police have responded to armed robberies at four southwest Iowa City businesses since July 20. Coralville police said last month they responded to four armed robberies in the course of two weeks. The robberies occurred in apartment complexes in an area bordered by 20th and 22nd avenues and 9th and 10th streets and the victims were often delivery drivers from local restaurants, police said.
Coralville police are working with other law enforcement areas to determine if any of these robberies are related.
Iowa City Area Crime Stoppers is offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of these suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 358-TIPS.