Serial robbery suspect arrested in Warrenton

Front Royal Police detective David Fogle stands outside the Advance America Cash Advance store in Gateway Plaza on Thursday afternoon following an armed robbery. Rich Cooley/Daily

FRONT ROYAL – A man authorities identified as a resident of Colombia in South America was detained Thursday in Warrenton as a suspect in a string of robberies that had occurred in Front Royal, Warrenton and Winchester.

Jhon Jario Lopez, 22, was detained by the Warrenton police at about 3 p.m. Thursday.

The robberies began about 12:40 p.m., when Winchester City Police Lt. Amanda Behan said a black male robbed Allied Cash Advance, 115 Weems Lane, in Winchester.

The suspect was described as a 6-foot-tall black man in his 20s with a mustache and beard. He was wearing all black clothing and a baseball cap. He was also carrying a pink T-Mobile bag and black satchel. The man fled the scene in a green Ford Escape that was missing a front license plate.

The suspect did not display a weapon during the robbery, but implied there was one in his possession. No one was hurt in the incident.

Front Royal officers stand outside the Advance America Cash Advance store in Gateway Plaza on Thursday following an armed robbery. Rich Cooley/Daily

About an hour later, the Front Royal Police Department was dispatched to Advance America Cash Advance, 232 Remount Road, regarding a robbery.

A Front Royal police news release describes the suspect as a 6-foot, 250-pound black male in his 20s wearing a gray shirt, blue jeans, a dark baseball hat and carrying a black satchel. He fled the scene on foot in the direction of John Marshall Highway.

The Warrenton police news release states that about an hour and a half later, Lopez was detained at Advance America’s Warrenton location, 201 Broadview Ave.

That release states that Lopez approached the store and “based on an internal e-mailed alert that had been sent out, a teller saw that Mr. Lopez matched the description” of the earlier robberies.

The Front Royal police news release states that detectives confirmed the suspect was the same subject wanted in connection with the Front Royal robbery. Behan said Winchester police believe he is also the suspect they were seeking.

This is a surveillance image of a suspect in a robbery at a Winchester business on Thursday. Front Royal police are looking at a possible connection between the Winchester and Front Royal robberies, as well as those that occurred Wednesday in Leesburg and one on Saturday in Centreville. Photo courtesy of Winchester Police Department

The Front Royal police news release states that Lopez may also be connected to a Wednesday robbery in Leesburg and a Saturday robbery in Centreville. Warrenton police Detective Sgt. Andrew Arnold confirmed this may be the case, but could not say for certain.

The Warrenton police release states that charges are pending the receipt of warrants from the other jurisdictions.

Winchester Star reporter Evan Goodenow, egoodenow@winchesterstar.com, contributed to this report.

Front Royal Police detective Marc Ramey stretches crime scene tape in the parking lot outside the Advance America Cash Advance store in Gateway Plaza on Thursday afternoon. Rich Cooley/Daily