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WDAY: The News Leader

Published January 20, 2012, 06:45 PM

Fargo Police say recent robberies paint neighborhood in bad light

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The early morning Kum & Go robbery comes soon after hold-ups at the Scandia Hotel and a Stop and Go, not far from today's robbery. But authorities say that 2011 armed robberies are just slightly above 2010 numbers. Fargo Police says the Community Homes Neighborhood should not be cast in a bad light because of these crimes in their back yard.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

The early morning Kum & Go robbery comes soon after hold-ups at the Scandia Hotel and a Stop and Go, not far from today's robbery. But authorities say that 2011 armed robberies are just slightly above 2010 numbers. Fargo Police says the Community Homes Neighborhood should not be cast in a bad light because of these crimes in their back yard.

Those who patrol our streets make a point now of stopping off at local convenience stores.

Sgt. Kevin Volrath – Fargo Police Department: “I think it's important for the officers to get to know the people working at those stores.”

SGT. Kevin Volrath does.

Sgt. Kevin Volrath: “So they have a comfort factor, so if something did happen they're going to be a little bit more relaxed and calm down sooner.”

An effort to keep connected to store managers and clerks working with them and remind them all of ways to improve lighting and security in their stores. High quality surveillance video and camera placement is now top of the list.

Jerry Hennix – Stop & Go: “You definitely want to stay to where you get good video from the old VCR tapes we used to have - to where you really couldn't see anything.”

The Kum & Go robbery near Community Homes comes just a few blocks away from Stop and Go, another recent armed robbery victim - nd now up for sale.

But law enforcement says it would be wrong to paint the community homes neighborhood with a broad brush - that's it's some sort of hot bed of criminal activity. In fact police say it does a good job of policing itself and during recent arrests involving convenience store robberies, the bad guys didn't some from here.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police Department: “They didn't live there. They came to that location to participate in that robbery, so to characterize that neighborhood as whatever in that specific case would be unfair because the people who actually committed the crime didn't live there.”

Despite the string of robberies, the metro remains one of the safest places in the nation. Police just want those impacting crime stats, off the streets. Authorities say they is no reason to believe today's robbery is connected to the other recent incidents.

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