Series of armed robberies in Caruthers has residents, business owners on edge

CARUTHERS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two teenage boys have been arrested in connection with an armed robbery in the Fresno County community of Caruthers.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says the 14-year-old and 15-year-old suspects held up the Dollar General Tuesday with a gun and a knife.

A series of six armed robberies in the Caruthers area has residents and business owners alike on edge.

Investigators are piecing together clues while reviewing surveillance video after it is believed the same thieves held up multiple stores between November 14th and December 3rd

"This is a serious problem and its definitely getting attention from our detectives. Its top priority to get these guys off the streets," said Toni Botti, Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

The robberies are all very similar and have taken place in less than a mile of each other.

Either one or two masked men armed with a gun enter and demand money from the clerk behind the counter.

The Valero station on West Tahoe Avenue was hit twice in two weeks

"Everybody is so concerned for their safety this is unbelievable," said Avtar Gill, Valero owner.

Avtar Gill has been a part of the community for nearly four decades and has owned the Valero station since 1990, but says this latest crime spree is the worst he has seen in Caruthers.

Gill is worried for his employees' safety and has concerns the crooks will strike again

"Right now nothing has happened so far but if something happens because it's happening again and again," Gill said.

The Caruthers Food and Liquor Market was also robbed twice -- while the Dollar General and Cargo Market in nearby Laton have both been held up during the recent string of armed robberies

"No real rhythm or reason why they keep going to Caruthers. It could just be that its convenient for them to get they're familiar with the area and they've had success, so they keep going back to that well to get more money," Botti said.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Offices says they have stepped up patrols in the area since the crime spree began.
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