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Published December 14, 2009, 07:42 PM

Businesses Take Precautions In Light of Robberies

At the Cenex convenience store on 32nd avenue the doors are locked during the overnight shift and employees have control over who is allowed in.

By: Jessica Dugan, WDAZ

Three different business... the Fairfield Inn last Wednesday, Discontent on Friday, and Simonson's on Saturday. All three places robbed at gunpoint by someone Grand Forks police believe to be the same man.

Sgt. Brett Johnson/Grand Forks Police Dept.: "They were conducted similarly, the physical description is similar, so we are looking into the fact that they most likely are related."

In all three robberies, the man walked in to the business, showed a hand gun and demanded cash. He then walks out and police haven't been able to track him down. Investigators say they are following several leads, but they urge other businesses to be careful.

Sgt. Brett Johnson/Grand Forks Police Dept.: "Be extra aware of who is coming in your stores, who is going out of your stores, if you do see something suspicious, call the police department right away."

At the Cenex convenience store on 32nd avenue the doors are locked during the overnight shift and employees have control over who is allowed in.

John Lutheran/Cenex Store: "A customer comes up to the door and they actually have to be buzzed to get in and out between 11pm and 7am, the door actually buzzes and they are able to come in, and that way you can kind of pick and choose who is able to come in."

The extra security was put into place earlier this year after an employee was robbed twice in one week.

John Lutheran/Cenex Store: "They do feel safer doing this, even the female overnight gals do."

But even with the added security, employees are still told not try to fight a robber.

John Lutheran/Cenex Store: "If something along that line is going to happen, just do it, don't fight it, try to keep from getting hurt."

Sgt. Brett Johnson/Grand Forks Police Dept.: "If something does happen in a store, don't confront the person, comply with what they are asking for, and get the best description that you can get."

The robbers from the Cenex case were caught on camera and one was charged. In the recent robberies, the police department says a stores security video can make their job much easier.

Sgt. Brett Johnson/Grand Forks Police Dept.: "Surveillance plays a very big role, more often than not, if a robbery or burglary occurs, either the business it happens at has surveillance or a nearby business has surveillance so more often than not we are able to get video or still images."

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