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Published November 17, 2011, 09:53 PM

West Fargo Police educating business owners on robbery prevention

West Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - After the rash of recent armed robberies in the metro, store clerks and owners are on-guard, not sure when the next brazen robber will strike. West Fargo police are using that to their advantage.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

After the rash of recent armed robberies in the metro, store clerks and owners are on-guard, not sure when the next brazen robber will strike. West Fargo police are using that to their advantage. They are training retailers on secrets to stopping a crime, let alone helping solve one.

There have been 7 armed robberies in the past 2 months in Fargo. The latest was on Sunday night. Tonight, we take you to training to share some-not all-secrets learned that hopefully will help employees.

Betty Hoffart – Tesoro Owner:”I was the only one on.”

It seems like just yesterday, Betty Hoffart was being robbed by an armed intruder. But it was back in the 1980s.

Betty Hoffart: “Your adrenaline is really rushing.:

You can still see the fear in her eyes.

Betty Hoffart: “Your knees sort of just buckle up. You want to drop and you're trying to do what the robber says.”

You'd think she'd get out of the industry, but Hoffart now owns a Tesoro. She's among of a large group of retailers brushing up on what to do should they be robbed. Much of this training is surrounding safety.

Rhonda Jorgensen – West Fargo Police Officer: “Armed robbers are just as nervous as the person getting robbed.”

Some tips: Don't be a creature of habit.

Kristen Nelson – Bernie’s Wine & Liquors Manager: “Because if people are watching you, they're going to know what your routine is, so change it up.”

Betty Hoffart: “We talk to our employees. Keep just dropping large bills and don't keep very much money in the till.”

Try to remember anything you can. This will help police pinpoint a suspect. But most importantly, as armed robberies become more common here: do what the suspect wants. After all it is a life or death situation.

Rhonda Jorgensen: “Money can be replaced, products can be replaced. People can't be replaced. We're not looking for a hero, we're looking for a good witness.”

Some of that training talked about cameras and where they should be placed. By the way, Betty Hoffart says she now plans to get new and better cameras for her West Fargo business.

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