The robbery occurred about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday at the O’Reilly Auto Parts on Hawthorne Avenue, Athens police said.

2 men in surgical masks rob Athens auto parts store 

Athens police are searching for two men who held up an auto parts store Wednesday evening while wearing surgical masks.

The robbery occurred about 9:15 p.m. at the O’Reilly Auto Parts on Hawthorne Avenue, Athens police spokesman Lt. John Radford said Thursday.

According to investigators, both men entered the store wearing hoodies and blue face masks. One of the suspects pulled out a black handgun and demanded money from the employees working behind the counter. 

After being handed the cash from the registers, both men exited the store and left the scene. One witness in the parking lot told police they saw the suspects drive off in small gray sedan, though a make and model of the vehicle has not been released.

It’s unclear if the suspects could be responsible for similar takeover-style robberies at other auto parts stores across metro Atlanta.  

In March, two men wearing surgical masks entered an AutoZone in Roswell before pulling out guns and ordering the store’s customers and employees onto the ground.

The men demanded cash from both the registers and safe, AJC.com previously reported.

RELATED: Men wearing surgical masks hold up Roswell auto parts store, pistol-whip employee

The employees complied and handed over cash from the registers, police said, but one of the robbers got angry as a man tried to open the time-delayed safe. 

“He grew impatient and struck the employee several times with his pistol, causing blunt-force trauma to the man’s right eye,” Roswell police said at the time.

The suspects managed to get $640 in cash before leaving.

ALSO: Retired Gwinnett sheriff’s deputy ID’d as victim in fatal auto parts store shooting

A cash reward is being offered for information leading to the identification and arrests of the suspects involved in Wednesday night’s robbery, police said. Tipsters are asked to call Athens Detective Scott Black at 762-400-7058, or send an email to scott.black@accgov.com.

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