Robbers are putting the heat on KELOLAND businesses. They've hit two stores since Saturday. Two men in their 20's held up the Jackpot Casino with guns early Saturday morning.
Yesterday, a man in his 30's used a knife to threaten the worker at the Shop 'N Cart at 6th & West. Before this latest run, Sioux Falls' last robbery was May 4th when we had a rash of five in eight days. How are the stats adding up? We're actually holding steady.
There were 24 robberies in all of last year and 12 so far this year... six of them have already been solved.
Before the Gregory Egeberg spree of 1995, Sioux Falls police rarely investigated robberies. Since then, heists have become all too common.
Heather Boysen's Taylor's Pantry convenience stores haven't been hit, but that doesn't mean she isn't taking precautions. She says, "We've got cameras everywhere."
Taylor's Pantry employees always work in pairs and are trained what to watch out for and how to protect themselves. "We've made it very clear to them: give them whatever they want. We don't care. We're worried more about life and limb than property," says Heather.
Boysen's stores keep the windows clear of advertisements so driver's can see in and workers can see out.
"Our lighting, keeping our aisles clean. A lot of that really makes a person, if they're casing the joint, realize that somebody's taking care of the property and that they're paying attention."
Police say 17-year-old David Hennings is responsible at least four robberies in April and May. He confessed that he's the one in this crisp, clear surveillance video taken at the Shop-N-Cart. Police credit good tape for helping them track Hennings, and wish all businesses would invest in high quality cameras.
Sgt. Bob Harrison, Sioux Falls Police, says, "It's easier to catch bad guys but its also a lot safer for their employees and their customers. "
And police hope arrests' like Hennings work as a deterant for other's thinking about criminal ways.
"50 dollars from a convenience store and end up doing 10, 12, 15 years in prison just doesn't seem to be worth it," says Harrison.
There is video from yesterday's shop and cart robbery but police aren't releasing it because the quality is too poor to get a good description of the man.