Robberies on the rise - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Robberies on the rise

by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Late night businesses that haven't been robbed in Waterloo are becoming hard to find.

According to our research, since January there have been 10 armed robberies in Waterloo, one in Hudson, and another in Elk Run Heights. Of these dozen robberies, police have only made one arrest.

The cold weather and limited amount of daylight play a major role in these robberies. Criminals can stay covered up without looking suspicious and they have more time to work during the cover of darkness.

Two more robberies happened Wednesday night and it's a scene that continues to play out in and around waterloo.

"Is it the same person that is doing all of them?  We're not sure about that, but there are a certain number that have similarities that lead us to believe those are probably connected," Captain John Beckman of the Waterloo Police Department said.

Jim Lind, the owner of Jim Lind BP on Ridgway Avenue in Waterloo had his business robbed almost two weeks ago. A man came into his store with a gun and demanded money. Since then Lind says he has beefed up his security.

"Customers are certainly aware of it staying in tune in their surroundings.  We certainly are concerned about it, but in the same breath we have the upmost respect and know that the Waterloo Police Department is going to get this solved sooner than later," Lind said.

Until that happens police are warning business to be extra careful.

"We've encouraged businesses to keep as little cash on hand as possible and directed them that if they are subject to a robbery to do as they're told so that no one gets hurt," Captain Beckman said.

During the two robberies Wednesday night there were no reported injuries, however, one of the robbers did fire a gun while in the Kwik Stop on Independence Avenue. Luckily the bullet did not strike anyone in the store.

Police say they have not released a photo or any surveillance video of the robberies because they show very little. In most instances the robbers are wearing masks and only their eyes can be seen.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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