LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After more than a month of searching for a "snatch and grab" robber, police say they found the man they were looking for. Reports show the man pretended to be a customer before robbing the businesses -- and even left his own photograph at one of the scenes.
Officers arrested Mark Hambric, Jr. on Dec. 16 after searching for several weeks. Before police caught up with him, they say Hambric was able to use his "snatch and grab" tactic to steal from another half-dozen stores.
The 29-year-old faces more than a dozen counts of robbery after holding up nearly 20 gas stations and stores. Some of the robberies occurred in the same day.
Documents show Hambric went into places like Thorntons, BP and other businesses where it was easy to grab merchandise and get away.
Police say he pretended to order things like Black and Mild cigars, Starburst candy and ice cream, but once the cashier opened the drawer, he would demand money. Police say he showed a weapon in many of the alleged instances. Hambric, Jr. also supposedly threatened some of the clerks.
Police say Hambric admitted to his involvement in the robberies.
This isn't the first time Hambric has been in trouble with the law. He has shoplifting and drug possession charges dating back to 2004.
Below is a list of the businesses and dates of the alleged robberies according to arrest warrants and citations:
The robbery of the Thorntons on Bardstown Rd., near the Watterson Expressway, on Oct. 7, just before midnight. Hambric allegedly grabbed money from the cash register while the cash register was open.
The robbery of the Dollar General Store on Bardstown Rd., near Watterson Trail, on Oct. 10. Hambric allegedly grabbed money that was in the cash register. When an employee of the store tried to stop him, police say Hambric "grabbed the victim by her arms and pulled the victim up onto the counter." The victim was able to break free, but police say Hambric ran away with the money.
The robbery of the BP Gas Station on Newburg Rd., near the Watterson Expressway, that took place on Oct. 23, just after 10 p.m. Police say Hambric grabbed money from the register, while the register was open. According to an arrest warrant, someone inside the store tried to stop Hambric, and received a cut on his finger during the struggle. Hambric escaped, according to police.
The robbery that took place at Sam's Quik Mart on Cane Run Road, near the Watterson Expressway, on Sept. 16. Police say that when the cashier rang up Hambric's purchase, Hambric jumped across the counter, injuring the cashier, and took $570 from the open cash register by force. In the process, Hambric allegedly dropped a photo of himself at the scene. He escaped, according to police, but officers were able to identify him from the photo.
The robbery of the Family Dollar on S. 28th St., near Greenwood Ave., on Oct. 7, in which Hambric allegedly grabbed money from the cash register. Police say a female employee grabbed Hambric's hands in an effort to stop him, but he escaped.
On Nov. 10, Hambric allegedly walked into the Circle K on Preston Hwy., near the I-65 / I-264 interchange, and grabbed money from the cash register, telling an employee, "Don't think about it or I will hurt you." He then fled the scene.
Police say that on Nov. 4, Hambric entered a Curtis Market on Duncan St., near N. 28th St., and, after struggling with employees, took cash from the register. Police say he stole $50 in this incident.
On Oct. 8, Hambric allegedly walked into the Walgreens on Algonquin Pkwy., near Taylor Blvd., and grabbed $139.68 from the cash register before escaping.
The robbery of the Best Stop Food Mart on Blue Lick Rd., near S. Park Rd., at 10 p.m. After asking for a Black and Mild cigar, Hambric allegedly took money from the cash drawer. The store clerk briefly struggled with Hambric, but Hambric escaped.
The robbery of the Speedy Mart on Lexington Road, near I-64, on Nov. 14. Police say Hambric lunched across the counter and grabbed the entire cash drawer from the cash register. He also allegedly punched the store owner in the head with his fist, getting away with $2,000.
On Oct. 15, Hambric allegedly walked into the Marathon gas station on Frankfort Ave., near Cannons Lane, and grabbed $50 from the cash register, escaping with the money.
Police say Hambric entered an unidentified restaurant on Nov. 22, just after 8 p.m., and ordered an ice cream cone. He then allegedly took $350 from the cash register, and when a female employee struggled, he balled up his hand, called her a derogatory word and warned her not to resist. Police say he escaped with the money.
On Nov. 23, police say Hambric entered the Dino's Food Mart on W. Broadway, near S. 26th St., and grabbed money from an open cash register. A struggle ensued, but police say the cashier was unable to stop Hambric, who allegedly escaped with $400.
Police say Hambric walked into a BP gas station on Newburg Rd., near Deer Park Ave., on Dec. 2, and lunged across the counter, taking $620 from the cash register. He escaped with the money, according to police.
The robbery of the Valero Gas Station on Bardstown Rd., near Fern Creek Rd., on Dec. 3, in which Hambric allegedly lunged across the counter and grabbed $500 from the cash register before escaped.
Police say that on Nov. 20, Hambric entered the Stock and Shop Food Mart on S. Preston St., near E. Oak St., just before 8 p.m. and grabbed cash from the cash register, knocking over several display items in the process before escaping.
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