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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published January 20 2012

Fargo police investigate Kum & Go armed robbery

FARGO – Police here are searching for a man suspected in an armed robbery early Friday at the Kum & Go at 2237 13th Ave. S.

Officers were dispatched about 3:50 a.m. Friday after a man pointed a gun at a convenience store clerk and demanded money, Lt. Joel Vettel said.

Vettel said the man first walked around the store for several minutes and placed food items on the counter. He then pointed a handgun at the clerk and demanded money. The suspect left on foot with the food items and an undisclosed amount of cash, Vettel said.

The clerk was not hurt.

The suspect is described as a white male, 5 feet 4 inches tall, 150 pounds with brown eyes and wearing gray sweatpants and a gray hooded sweatshirt, Vettel said. The suspect also had a T-shirt pulled up over his face.

Police are reviewing surveillance footage and may release more description information.

Vettel said police have no reason to believe this incident is connected to other recent robberies.

The Scandia Hotel in Fargo was robbed last week.

The same Kum & Go has been robbed before, including incidents in May 2011 and one in 2007.

Vettel said it may appear Fargo has had more armed robberies because recent copy-cat robberies have attracted a lot of attention.

But statistics show that the number of robberies in Fargo has held fairly steady, he said.

“They’re more readily shocking to the conscious because we just don’t have this happen very often in our community,” Vettel said.

In 2009, Fargo had 39 robberies, compared with 42 in 2010. Officials are still finalizing 2011 statistics, but early numbers show 47 armed robberies for the year, Vettel said.

Police saw a stretch of several business robberies last fall. In November and December, patrol officers were proactive and met with employees from every convenience store and gas station on their beat to give safety and security tips, Vettel said.

Fargo police are working hard to solve the robberies. Vettel said they have a rate of solving robberies that’s 20 percent higher than the national average.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590