Fresno police see 'explosion' of robberies

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Fresno police are seeing an alarming rise in robberies. Four stores have been hit all over the city in just the last 24 hours. (KFSN)

Fresno police are seeing an alarming rise in robberies. Four stores have been hit all over the city in just the last 24 hours. Police call it an "explosion" of robberies.

The Country Mart on Martin Luther King and North was the most recent target. Thieves violently held up the store just before 8:30 on Friday morning. Thus far there's been a 32% increase in robberies forcing police to come up with new strategies.

Crime scene technicians comb through the Southwest Fresno market, looking for clues, a trace of evidence that could lead them to the two armed men who violently held up the store and leaving the clerk too scared to talk.

Lt. Joe Gomez tells Action News, "They took him to the kitchen area, threw him on the ground, pistol whipped him. One held him at gunpoint, the other cleared out the registers."

They also took a bank bag full of the day's $5,000 deposit - the weekly earnings that keep this store afloat. Police are now wondering whether these same men could be behind the holdup at a store just around the corner from the country mart.

Evergreen Market store owner Harban Singh described how the gunman flashed his gun, terrorizing him and his wife, and their customers. Singh has been robbed twice in the past month, by different suspects.

Police say there's store victims just like him all over the city. In Southwest Fresno alone the cases have tripled.

Chief Jerry Dyer said, "The trend we see are the locations, we know there are hot spots. Shaw Avenue, Kings Canyon, Belmont those are the high number of street and business robberies."

The Chief says they'll be adding patrols, increasing a presence in those "hot spots" and they won't always be in uniform.

"Having undercover officers out there pointing those individuals out to our uniformed officers, when we do that, in the times when those crimes are committed we're going to have an impact," Chief Dyer explained.

Harban Singh tells us he hopes they catch the suspects soon. In the meantime he might be changing his line of work. Because he says, the risk just isn't worth it.

As for prevention, Police suggest business owners change their routine, maybe go to the bank on different days and having surveillance cameras is always a deterrent.



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crimetrackerrobberycrimeFresno - Southwest
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