Early darkness, bulky clothes and crowded stores make it easy for robbers during the holiday season, according to Hagerstown Police Chief Art Smith.
Hagerstown and Washington County have experienced a rash of armed robberies in the past two weeks.
Armed robberies are more common during the holiday shopping season, Smith said.
Three armed robberies occurred Monday in Hagerstown.
At about 3 p.m., a man approached a cashier at the Hallmark store on Maryland Avenue and informed the cashier that he had a gun. Two men showed a handgun during a robbery at United Petroleum that evening, and just before 10 p.m., two men in dark clothing showed a handgun during a robbery at Roxy's Liquors.
Four factors play into the high number of armed robberies during the holiday season, said Smith.
Darkness falls early, which helps robbers get away.
"People who do this enjoy the darkness," he said.
More people are out shopping during the holidays and stores have more cash on hand. Both are factors in the higher number of armed robberies. Police see an increase in both street robberies and store robberies, he said.