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Published January 30, 2014, 08:22 PM

Robbers use fake guns to get the job done

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) - When Fargo Police officers train at the range they practice with their Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun. But it’s tough to pick out a real law enforcement handgun among these replicas. Fargo Police are finding that in at least 20 percent of recent robberies the weapon displayed is fake.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, N.D. (WDAY TV) - When Fargo Police officers train at the range they practice with their Glock 22 .40 caliber handgun. But it’s tough to pick out a real law enforcement handgun among these replicas. Fargo Police are finding that in at least 20 percent of recent robberies the weapon displayed is fake.

The problem?

Lieutenant Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: “That is made to look very realistic, almost an exact replica as a real firearm.”

The pellet and Airsoft guns

Lt. Vettel: “Because they are so close in nature to the real guns and the replicas, it’s almost impossible to tell them apart, even at a close look.”

Fargo Police have met with convenience store clerks in the past, basically telling them, “Don’t argue with a robbery suspect or fight back.” Still, complacency over the ‘real or fake’ gun issue concerns them.

Lt. Vettel: We want to make sure that we treat every gun like it is a real firearm.”

At Mister Money in West Fargo the doors are now locked and monitored – even during business hours when the store is open. This after a recent armed robbery scared everyone at the business.

Kyle Ramsey – Mister Money: “It’s not worth the risk; just give them what they want. Don’t try to be a hero, or anything of that nature.”

Lt. Vettel: “You can’t tell the difference. You need to treat it as a real firearm and it might save your life.”

Children’s toy guns come with an orange cap, but police say some bad guys are even using them, just painting the cap black. When the dust settles, the warning from police is the same: Don’t confront or take on a suspect.

If you want to test your skills in identifying a real gun vs. a fake one, take the

ABC News Quiz: ‘Is this gun real or fake?’ by clicking here.


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