Rise in violent robberies across Merced

MERCED, Calif.

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Merced police have seen a rise in robberies and forced entry burglaries within the last two months.

Thirty robberies were reported in January and February of this year. That's eleven more than the same time in 2011.

Tuesday night, surveillance video caught a hooded suspect with black sunglasses robbing a clerk at gunpoint.

In the past several weeks, dozens of stores have been the target of break-ins -- which has glass shops busy repairing shattered windows.

Larry Whitney with San Joaquin Glass of Merced said, "Every morning at seven o'clock the phone starts ringing and then once I get one call, then I expect another one and sure enough within minutes there's another call of a break in somewhere else."

Police are urging businesses to be more cautious and not leave any money in cash registers overnight.

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