Vinton police chief Ben Cook said his officers will increase patrols.
Cook said several officers talked with business owners and employees on Monday night, just to let them know what was going on.
Investigators also believe the robber may not be working alone.
Cook said, due to the fact the man was gone only one minute after one of the robberies, and since a tracking dog lost the man's scent in a parking lot, investigators believe he could have a getaway driver.
Police say it appears the same suspect robbed Vinton restaurants on Sunday and Monday. On Sunday, May 26 at around 9:30, the Subway on Hardy Road was robbed. Monday at around 2:30, the Pizza Hut at 1060 Bypass road was robbed. The suspect in both robberies is described as a white male wearing a gray long-sleeve shirt, dark pants, with a dark face covering. In both cases, the suspect showed a handgun and demanded moneys from clerks.
A Washington Ave. tobacco store was robbed on Friday, May 24, by a man with a similar description and using similar methods. Vinton Police have met with other agencies in the area to compare notes on recent robberies in hopes of getting a better description and find any patterns in the crimes. Vinton police say those meetings indicate recent, similar armed robberies in Roanoke City and Botetourt County.
Increased patrols and meetings with citizens are being conducted in Vinton. Other Roanoke Valley police are working on these cases as well, and are patrolling.
Suspect description from Vinton police:
White male, mid 20's, approximately 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, thin build. The incident in Roanoke County indicates the suspect may possibly have brown hair.
If you have information on these cases, call Sergeant Testerman with the Vinton Police Department at (540) 983-0617, ext 169.