Cedar Springs, Mich. – Cedar Springs police have their hands full as they investigate several robberies.
The spurt isn’t just alarming; police said it’s rare for the area.
“We’re lucky if we have two, maybe three robberies a year,” Officer Chad Potts, with the Cedar Springs Police Department said. “That’s a high estimate, but this many, this quick in a short time frame that`s very unusual,”
On Dec. 22nd, surveillance video showed a man walk into the Admiral Gas Station on South Main Street.
With a white mask covering his face, police said the man implied that he had a weapon, but he never showed one. He ordered the attendant to give him cash. He was in and out of the store in less than a minute.
Investigators said the same gas station had been robbed a week before.
On Dec. 29th, the Kent Theatre, which is also on Main Street, became a second target. Someone wearing a mask implied they had a weapon, got away with cash and a donation jar.
Just a few days later, on New Year’s Eve, police said a man robbed the Family Video (across from Admiral).
“He was actually shopping for about 20 minutes [until] all the customers left. That`s when he approached the counter, pulled his mask down to conceal his face,” Potts said.
After threatening clerks with a hunting knife, the man got away with cash. Investigators were quick to notice the similarities.
“We believe two of them could be linked because the suspect in the Kent Theatre robbery and the Admiral robbery head in the same direction,” Potts said.
Bill Rowan works next door to the Kent Theatre, making an honest living and pizzas at Vitale`s.
He said police often stop in to update him on what`s happening in the area. Rowan said the recent robberies have caused him to become more vigilant.
“Just don`t know where they`re gonna strike next,” Rowan said.
If they do, officer Potts said there are simple measures that store clerks and any bystander can take, to help catch a crook.
“If this does happen, be a good witness. Get as many features, facial features as they can, description of clothing, vehicle, if they left in one. The best thing is the plate on the vehicle and direction of travel,” Potts said.
If anyone recognizes the man in the surveillance video (see story) or have any information call the Cedar Springs Police Department at (616) 696-1311 or Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345 or 1-866-774-2345.