Last week, police asked the public to assist investigators in identifying three white male suspects who are believed to have fled the scene of the armed robbery and fire at Play N Trade in a late-model blue Chevrolet SUV, leaving the store damaged and the owner with second- and third-degree burns.
“The identities of these individuals are only being sought for possible informational purposes and are not believed to be involved in any way,” Woodstock Police spokeswoman Brittany Duncan said Friday.
Anyone with information regarding these individuals or this incident is encouraged to call the Woodstock Police Department at (770) 592-6030 or the Tip Line at (770) 592-6021.
One possible witness investigators are looking for is described as a white male, about 45 to 65 years old, seen walking a dog in front of the store at about 9:30 a.m. on the day of the incident, according to police.
The second possible witness sought by investigators is a white male, seen with a young boy waiting in a light-colored SUV for the store to open at about 11:30 a.m. the day of the incident, police said.
Last Friday, Duncan said descriptions of three suspects, believed to be involved in the event, were compiled “primarily from victims’ statements.”
Authorities are offering up to a $10,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the people responsible for the event and said police hope the reward “prompts someone with knowledge to come forward.”
The first suspect is a white man, believed to be 40 to 50 years old, with a medium to large build and a full beard. The second suspect is a white man, about 16 to 22 years old, with a medium build and brown hair, and the third suspect is only described as a white man.
The three suspects are believed to be local and may still be in the area, investigators said.
Anyone with information about the suspects is asked to call the Georgia Arson HOTLINE at 1 (800) 282-5804, or Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous, Duncan said.
On the day of the fire, the store was scheduled to open at noon, and the incident occurred at about 11:45 a.m.
Emergency operators got a call about a possible armed robbery at the Play N Trade, and emergency personnel arrived to find an active structure fire at the store, police said.
Based on statements made to police by store employees, a man entered the store with a gun and held the employees in the back of the store. According to reports, cash and merchandise were taken from the business.
According to reports, employees were released and told to run away from the store shortly before a fire started in the business.
The store owner, Troy Brazelton, was transported to an area hospital with second- and third-degree burns and underwent surgery related to his injuries, according to Facebook posts made by his daughter after the incident.
According to the owner’s daughter, Elizabeth Brazelton, her father was released from the hospital Friday and is home after nearly two weeks in the hospital following the incident.
“He is in a lot of pain but he is hoping that by (today) he will be able to have visitors. He thanks everyone for all of the support through all of this and feels truly blessed that everyone loves him,” she wrote on her Facebook page Friday.
An online fundraiser was created for Brazelton by Kate Smith, a client services manager at TimeWise Financial in Woodstock.
“Donovan’s Irish Cobbler and TimeWise Financial, LLC have partnered to promote a fundraiser for Troy and his family during this difficult time,” the fundraiser description reads. “Both Donovan’s and TimeWise are family owned, and recognize the impact such a senseless tragedy has on the employees, who now are losing income, the business that isn’t making any revenue and more importantly Troy and his serious injuries.”
The fundraiser’s goal is to raise $5,000, and as of Friday more than $2,500 had been donated.
“We want to do our part in keeping the Woodstock community strong by showing our support for Troy and his family,” the fundraiser read. “Troy’s injuries will be requiring numerous surgeries and rehab and any support you can show would be greatly appreciated.”
The fundraiser is being conducted through the FundRazr website and can be found at: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/5c7D0.