MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police are investigating separate robberies at auto parts stores that happened on Wednesday night, January 13th. It's not yet known whether the same criminals committed both crimes. Police say they are looking into that possibility. You may recall, a similar crime spree involving auto parts stores occurred in Milwaukee in 2014 -- and that led to federal charges against two men.
Deshae Lane and Jacques White were charged by a federal grand jury in connection with a string of armed robberies occurring across the city of Milwaukee between March and June 2014.
Lane and White were accused in robberies at O'Reilly Auto Parts, Auto Zone, Advance Auto Parts and Domino's Pizza -- where an employee was shot in the leg.
No injuries were reported in connection with the latest robberies at auto parts stores that happened on Wednesday night.
The first robbery was an armed robbery, which occurred around 6:50 p.m. at an Advance Auto Parts store near 15th and North Avenue.
Police say two suspects entered the store and displayed dark-colored handguns. They were able to get away with cash.
The suspects fled the scene on foot.
Police describe the suspects as two black males, wearing dark clothing, between the ages of 18 and 22. Both wore scarves covering their faces.
No injuries were reported.
Ten minutes later, officers were dispatched to the Advance Auto Parts store near Fond du Lac Avenue and Capitol Drive for a robbery.
It's unclear what was taken from the store.
No injuries were reported.
It's unclear how many suspects may have been involved in this incident.
"It's the owner's concern -- but for me, I take the risk and visit my relatives here," Zaid Saeem said.
Saeem's relatives own a shop next door to one of the auto parts stores that was robbed on Wednesday night. The crimes concern Saeem, who moved to the United States less than two years ago.
"I have been in Manhattan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Chicago, for two months. I think it's very dangerous here for people, for businesses, for individuals. It's a very dangerous area," Saeem said. "I can walk in many areas in Jordan or Lebanon or Egypt at 4:00 in the morning -- but I'm afraid to walk after 10:00 here outside."
Police haven't said whether there is surveillance video of the robberies at the auto parts stores on Wednesday night.
In addition to the 12 separate robberies of auto parts stores Lane and White were accused of committing during the summer 2014 -- there was a series of armed robberies at auto parts stores in late December, 2014.
Three separate robberies occurred on the evening of December 30th, 2014.
No one was hurt in any of those incidents.