Lexington police search for robber who wore Nixon mask

A man who wore a ghost mask during at least eight robberies in Lexington is suspected to have struck again, police said, this time disguised by a less haunting mask.

Detectives are looking for a man who wore a Richard Nixon mask while robbing a Lexington restaurant Sunday. Sherelle Roberts, spokeswoman for the Lexington police department, said police suspect the crook is the same man wanted in eight restaurant robberies over the past five years.

In the previous crimes, the robber wore a screaming-ghost mask similar to the one worn by the villain in the movie Scream.

Officers were called to Captain D's seafood restaurant at 167 East Reynolds Road at 10:15 p.m. Sunday.

Witnesses told police the man came in and flashed a gun.

After demanding money from the register, the robber led all of the employees into the back office, where he forced one of them to empty a safe.

Then he took the employees into the store's walk-in refrigerator and left through the back door with an undisclosed amount of money in a camouflage bag.

"Those past robberies and this robbery share similarities in the fact that in both occasions the suspect is wearing some type of Halloween mask," Sgt. Pete Ford said.

Ford said the robber in the previous crimes also used a gun, wore coveralls, demanded money from both a register and a safe and directed witnesses to a walk-in cooler. But Ford said that police wouldn't know for sure if it was the same robber until an arrest was made.

The previous robberies have all occurred at Long John Silver's, KFC and Captain D's restaurants. The Captain D's on East Reynolds was hit once before by the man dubbed the Scream Mask Bandit in 2007.

The robber in each of the crimes has been described as around 5 feet, 4 inches tall with a stocky build. In Sunday's robbery, the man was wearing the Nixon mask, a pair of dark coveralls (possibly blue) and gloves.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lexington police. Tips can be phoned in to the main line at (859) 258-3600, the Robbery-Homicide Unit at (859) 258-3700 or Bluegrass Crime Stoppers at (859) 253-2020.