Omar Villafranca, NBCDFW.com
One suspect arrested in connection with several armed robberies of Dallas nightclubs and bars.
The latest robbery happened early Wednesday morning in Uptown Dallas.
Dallas police said William Degraftenreed, Jr., 19, is charged with the aggravated robbery of the Villa Bar. Detectives are attempting to identify the others involved in the robbery.
Senior Corporal Kevin Janse with the Dallas Police Department said four armed men rushed into Villa MMXI on 2922 North Hall street around 3 a.m. while employees were cleaning up.
"They're coming in with their guns displayed, they are brandishing the weapons, in this particular case they did strike one of the employee with one of the guns. So they definitely won't hesitate to get violent," Janse said.
Police reports show the suspects made off with more than $2,000 of the club's money, as well as cash, cell phones and credit cards from the almost 12 employees cleaning up. One of the employees jumped in a car and followed a suspect's car. Police later arrested the driver. His name has not been released. Janse confirmed that detectives think the men are responsible for at least five other robberies, including recent incidents at The Old Monk on Henderson, and Humperdink's on Greenville Avenue.
"In each particular offense, it's after hours, the establishment is closed, it's just employees inside cleaning up, " Janse said. "Luckily, no one has been shot, but that's not to say they're not capable of doing that."
Restaurant and bar owners in the Uptown area said they heard about the crime and are taking extra precautions.
"We always try to use the buddy system to where I either walk them out to their cars, or one of the bartenders or bar backs or whoever, we always want to have an extra set of eyes on them," said Billy Roberts, a manager at Primo's.
Two of the robberies have taken place on a Wednesday morning, after a Tuesday night of business. Tuesday night is considered "industry night" any many bars. That's when service industry professionals, like bartenders and waiters, go out to have drinks. Roberts said that's a busy night for most places since service industry professional prefer working on Fridays and Saturdays for big tips.