Recycling center targeted by thieves

FRESNO, Calif.

The crime happened late Wednesday morning at the Ashlan Park Shopping Center at Cedar and Ashlan.

Most customers come to the recycling center hoping to get a few bucks recycling plastic and glass bottles and aluminum cans.

Located in the parking lot of a busy shopping center it's not the kind of place you would expect to be robbed, until a man with a gun arrives.

"He was described as being 20 to 25 years of age, he was armed with a dark colored hand gun, he demanded cash and after obtaining the cash he fled on foot to an awaiting vehicle," John Romo of the Fresno Police Department said.

The robbery occurred in front of several witnesses. They say someone in a van picked up the robber and sped off.

Sonya Whitten went to the center with a years worth of bottles, hoping to get money for some Christmas shopping. She's not surprised the recycling place was robbed.

"Because they have cash on hand, may not be a lot, but they know it's there and they know there's no security," Whitten said.

The clerk who was robbed was not hurt, but went home a little shaken up. The owner of this and three other recycling locations says robberies used to be rare, occurring once every five years or so. But he told us this is the second holdup this year.

Easy access to this place may have made it a target, even if the payoff isn't big.

Police are looking for two suspects, the robber and the driver of the getaway vehicle, which is described as a dark colored mini van, possible a Dodge Caravan . Anyone with any information about this robbery is urged to call Fresno Police.

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