Two Armed Robberies on Christmas Eve in Central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.                   |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

"I saw him just point a gun to me and say, don't move." Ya Chong Lee said he feared for his life.

Around 5:00 Christmas Eve, two gunmen entered his Central Fresno market and demanded money.

Lee says when he saw their weapons; he ran to a storage room and fought to keep the two suspects out.

"See it's all broke right there. I lock it up and they kick it and I know they're going to come in so I push from, I stay here and push from my shoulder," said Lee.

The two suspects got away with money from the cash register.

Less than three hours later, A Central Fresno smoke shop was robbed by two men ... who walked into the store and immediately threatened the clerk with a gun.

Lt. Gregg Sanders said, "They patted him down, took his wallet with an undisclosed amount of money, then they had him go to the cash register and they demanded the money."

On Monday, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer acknowledged a spike in business robberies, saying they are up fourteen percent compared to a year ago and that many of them could be related. But these latest robberies don't appear to be connected to the previous crimes.

Investigators are looking for two pairs of suspects, each matching different descriptions. Still, police are not ruling anything out.

Tom Rowe with the Fresno Police Department said, "At this point, it's too early to tell if this is related to any of the other robberies that have taken place."

And although Ya Chong Lee has now become a small part of this alarming trend, for him, it's been a life changing experience.

"Very scared. It's heartbreaking, my first time getting robbed," said Lee.

The suspects who robbed the smoke shop have not been caught. They reportedly took off in a vehicle. Police are reviewing surveillance video taken from the scene to help them track down those suspects.

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