A San Diego Police cruiser. Photo by Chris Stone

Police Tuesday were investigating two armed robberies that happened about a half-hour apart in the Mount Hope and Bay Terraces areas.

The first robbery happened about 8:50 p.m. Monday at a smoke shop on Market Street, just west of Interstate 805 in the Mount Hope neighborhood, San Diego Police Officer John Buttle said.

The thief walked around the store and waited until the clerk had the register open, then he walked up to the counter, pulled a black handgun and demanded cash from the register, Buttle said. The clerk backed away and the thief jumped over the counter and grabbed an unknown amount of cash.

The suspect ordered the clerk to get on the floor, then ran off northbound with the cash and a glass bong, the officer said.

The thief was described as a man in his 20s who weighs about 160 pounds and was between 5-foot-10 and 6 feet. He was last seen wearing a black hoodie and jeans.

The second robbery happened about 9:20 p.m. Monday at Paradise Liquor on Paradise Valley Road, north of state Route 54, Buttle said.

The thief in that robbery waited for customers to leave, then placed items on the counter, he said. When the clerk opened the register, the man pulled out a handgun and told the clerk to get back.

The suspect took cash from the register and ran off westbound towards Woodman Street, Buttle said.

The man in the second robbery was last seen wearing a dark hoodie and pants, but a detailed suspect description was not immediately available.

Robbery detectives were investigating whether the robberies were related.

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