- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say a man suspected of committing nearly 20 armed robberies across the Midlands while wearing a hockey mask is a 36-year-old active duty soldier at Fort Jackson.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news release that Cedrick Gaines was arrested Monday night just minutes after robbing a GameStop store.

The sheriff says one of his officers noticed an SUV with unusual wheel rims that was seen on camera in other robberies driving near the store just after Monday’s robbery.

Deputies arrested Gaines. Lott says money from the robbery was found in a GameStop bag. It wasn’t known if Gaines had a lawyer.

The sheriff says investigators are trying to determine if Gaines is connected to 18 similar robberies in Columbia, Lexington and Sumter, staring Nov. 21.

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