ARREST: Did Gelati Celesti robber also hit Chesterfield Food Lion?

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Chesterfield Police arrested Timothy John Fagnani, 38, at the Super 8 Motel located at 8260 Midlothian Turnpike early Friday morning.

FAGNANI, TIMOTHY J.

Timothy John Fagnani

Fagnani is charged with Wednesday’s robbery at the Food Lion located on Jefferson Davis Highway.

Police said Fagnani entered the Food Lion about 8:45 p.m. on March 26 and told a clerk he’d hurt her if she did not hand over money from the register.

“The clerk left the counter to alert other employees,” police said. “The suspect then forcibly removed the register drawer and fled the scene.”

Fagnani is believed to be responsible for other robberies as well, according to police sources.

The owner of the Gelati Celesti in the Stony Point Road Shopping Center said his store was hit in a similar fashion a few hours before the Food Lion robbery.

“The manager thought he was kidding at first,” owner Steve Rosser said. “Then he reached over and opened the drawer. The manager then realized it was real and stepped back and let the man take the register.”

Three hours later, a similar robbery occurred at the Food Lion, except in that crime the thief grabbed the cash drawer at knife point and ran.

“It’s disturbing that there’s people out here like that, committing crime,” Food Lion shopper Angela Woolridge said. “It’s very scary.”

It was much the same story hours after the Food Lion robbery at a 7-Eleven in King William County.

Police sources said detectives from both Richmond and Chesterfield are comparing notes as the suspect’s description is similar in all the robberies.

Back at the ice cream shop, Rosser said he’ll use the robbery as a teaching lesson.

“We will review the tape with employees and use it for training opportunities,” he said.

He said this incident will not stop them from doing business here.

“We’ve been here two years and experienced nothing like this,” he said. “There’s been nothing but warmth from this community and we are surprised the robbery occurred at all.”

Fagnani appeared in court via video conferencing Friday morning and received a court appointed attorney.

Fagnani is scheduled to appear in court on June 19 on the armed robbery charge, but could face additional charges.