BRISTOL, Tenn./Va. - A string of four armed robberies started Sunday night at two convenience stores on Volunteer Parkway in Bristol, Tennessee.
Police say they got a break in the case when a citizen saw surveillance video on News 5 WCYB and called in a tip. They are still working on a motive, but have recovered some of the stolen cash from the suspect?s vehicle.
The suspect apparently talked with his landlord last month about filing for unemployment and concerns about paying his rent.
33-year-old Christopher Michael Vaughan is facing charges in both Bristol, Tennessee and Virginia connected to four robberies in a 24-hour period.
It started Sunday night. The Scotchman store on Volunteer Parkway was robbed at 11:31 pm.
Later that night at 11:53, the Shell/Roadrunner just down the street was hit.
The next day New People's Bank in Bristol, Virginia was robbed at 4:50 in the afternoon. Later that night Belmont Package store in Bristol, Tennessee was robbed.
Police say the surveillance video helped lead them to their suspect. "We rely on you guys to post pictures on the news for people to call us, that's part of the investigation now," said Sgt. Steven Crawford with Bristol, Virginia Police Department.
Bristol, Tennessee Detectives say Vaughan admitted to robbing all four locations, but the way he did it surprised some.
Paula Matzner is the manager at Belmont Package. ?He just came in, very matter-of-fact, [saying] 'I have a gun, I want all of the money out of the cash register, but I'm not going to hurt you,'" she explained.
For Lieutenant Debbie Richmond, this string of crimes was a little unusual because Vaughan lived less than two miles from some of places he says he robbed. ?Personally, it does surprise me that he was local. It's kind of a different method of operation than what we're typically used to seeing,? adds Richmond.
Now that Vaughan is behind bars, stores like Belmont Package say they're relieved. "We hoped he would be caught and hoped he wouldn't be back in here," adds Matzner.
Police stress this arrest was a team effort between Bristol, Tennessee, Bristol, Virginia and the FBI.
This is the second set of armed robberies this year where the suspect has robbed stores on both sides of the state line. A person has been charged in the first set of robberies that happened in January.