Thenewrobberiesofcitystores

Another wave of robberies hit Durant merchants in late March and April.

Meanwhile, Durant Community Police Officer Gwenda Hines attempted to assure shop owners that the neighborhood had not become the particular target of holdup men. Hines emphasized that robberies were spreading throughout the city —a fact she blamed at least in part on the economic recession.

“Nevertheless, I’m continuing my security checks with all Maple Street businesses and making sure the shops’ windows give the employees an unobstructed view. The merchants need to be able to watch out for one another across the street”, Hines said.

In the current series of incidents, hundreds of dollars in cash were lost, but fortunately, no one was hurt.

An employee at the Red Rose flower shop, 2110 Maple St. was thoroughly frightened, however, after a thief threatened her with a knife on March 30. The employee, who did not wish to be identified, was alone, and the front window of the shop was blocked by tall plants.

The robber demanded and got an undisclosed amount of money from the cash register. “He got enough,” said Red Rose owner Michael Hancock. Ironically, Hancock had been responsible for preventing the escape of a man who had robbed the nearby Bakery earlier in March.

The suspect was described as a well-dressed male in his late 30s, 5 feet 5 inches, with an average build. According to the store employee, he wore his hair— which appeared to be straightened and pink-tinged — in a ponytail.

The same man also may have struck Diamond Ring, further down Maple Street at the corner of Main, on April 10.

As in the case of the Red Rose robbery, the holdup occurred late in the afternoon, and jewelry store owner Edwina Roberts was alone when the robber entered the shop. She said the entire incident took less than 30 seconds.