WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published December 13, 2009, 09:59 PM

Police Hunt For Robbery Suspect

Grand Forks police officers are searching for the man who robbed the Simonson gas station, the third armed robbery in the city in four days.

By: Joel Porter, WDAZ

Police are searching for the man who robbed the north Simonson gas station in Grand Forks last night.

It's the third armed robbery at a local business in less than a week.

Police believe it's the same man who has robbed all three places....from the suspect's description to the way the robberies were carried out.

It was a late night pursuit for Grand Forks police officers last night as they were called to an armed robbery at the north Simonson gas station.

"And so he entered the north door, immediately went to the counter, spoke to the clerk, brandished a weapon, demanded money and then exited through that same door," investigating officer Derik Zimmel said.

From there, officers canvassed the nearby Riverside neighborhood, looking for any sign of the suspect.

"Our main concern obviously is the safety and security, not only of that scene, but the neighboring community and the neighborhood and so we're going to get there, we're going to make sure if we've got an armed intruder somewhere in a residential neighborhood, we want to get them into custody as soon as possible," Zimmel said.

The hold-up marks the third armed robbery in the city in four days. On Wednesday evening, a suspect robbed the front desk of the Fairfield Inn, and on Friday afternoon, the Discontent store on Washington was robbed.

"It's a very quick incident, someone is in and out and gone and if officers aren't right on scene, it's something that's difficult to catch in progress," Zimmel said.

Officers say there are differences and similarities between all three robberies. All three were carried out at random locations at different times of the day. But the suspect description remained about the same. And after searching the neighborhood for hours last night, officers were unable to find him.

"We've got officers checking in with stores that are open late at night, making sure we have an officer presence out there during the night time hours and working closely with detectives trying to get them the information they need to resolve this," Zimmel said.

At all three robberies, victims have described the suspect as a tanned white man.

They say he's possibly Hispanic or native american.

He's around six feet tall with a slim build.

If you have any information on the robberies, you're asked to contact the Grand Forks police department on the number on your screen.

In all three robberies, a handgun was used.

Police say fortunately up to this point, nobody has been hurt.