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Man charged in Stockbridge salon robberies

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Warrants were issued in Henry County for a Clayton County man, suspected of robbing local salons and sexually abusing women.

Artemio Hernandez, 31, is charged with sexual battery, and two counts of armed robbery.

Henry County Police Maj. Jason Bolton said Hernandez resides in the Clayton County portion of Stockbridge.

The first robbery Hernandez was allegedly involved in, occurred Oct. 23, inside the Quick Set Salon at 5627 N. Henry Blvd., in Stockbridge, Bolton said.

"A Hispanic male entered the [salon] and robbed the two female employees at gunpoint," the major said. "After taking money from the store's register, the suspect took the victims to the back of the store where he zip-tied them. He locked the doors, turned off the lights, and then attempted to remove one of the females' pants."

The second female victim, Bolton continued, begged the man to stop, and told him to take her personal ATM card, and offered him the card's personal identification number (PIN).

"The suspect stopped, and then retrieved the card from the victim's purse," Bolton said. "He stuck his hands down the shirt of one of the victims, and fondled her breasts. He then left, and threatened to return and rape the victim, if the PIN number she had given him was incorrect."

Bolton added that Hernandez is believed to be connected to a second robbery, that occurred Oct. 24, at another Stockbridge salon.

"A male suspect fitting the same description entered the Dominican Hair Salon located at 5128 N. Henry Blvd., produced a handgun and grabbed a female employee by the hair, ordering her to open the register," Bolton said. "The victim told him that she was not the owner and pointed out the owner. The owner was then forced to open the register, and the suspect took the money before leaving the store."

The major said victims in both robberies provided similar descriptions of the person who allegedly committed the crimes.

"In both robberies, the suspect was described as a heavy-set Hispanic male, with a dark complexion, around six feet in height," Bolton said. "In both robberies, he wore a button-up shirt over an undershirt, with a ball cap. He was described in both robberies as speaking perfect Spanish. The victims were able to provide detailed information to a police sketch artist."

Bolton said DeKalb County Police arrested Hernandez Oct. 26, while Hernandez was allegedly in the process of committing an armed robbery at a Payless Shoe Store in Chamblee.

"Henry County Police detectives were able to positively identify Hernandez as the suspect in both Henry County cases, and took out warrants on Hernandez for armed robbery -- two counts -- and sexual battery," Bolton said.

Hernandez was being held Wednesday in the DeKalb County Jail, when the warrants were obtained, according to the major.