An early morning crime spree came to a quick end in Sioux Falls on Monday. Two gas stations were robbed and a home vandalized.
It all started at the Shop 'N Cart near the corner of 6th Street and Cleveland Avenue around 5:30 Monday morning. Authorities say a man walked in with gun and demanded cash. Store owner Dave Grevlos says his employees are prepared for something like this
"They're trained on A: keep very little cash. You don't want them to be tempted. There’s no reason in a convenience store at that time of night to have that much cash available," Grevlos said.
They're also told to cooperate, which Grevlos says his employee did perfectly.
The suspects then made their way to the Gas Stop near 26th Street and Cliff Avenue where the same story unfolded. However this time they didn't get any money. Authorities say the trio then threw a rock through the window of home on North Minnesota Avenue. The homeowners were home at the time and got the description of the car to police who got on the trail quickly.
The three suspects eventually crashed in to a tree, bailed from their car and led police on a foot chase.
"I did hear some people talking that there were some citizens that were pointing out where the suspects were," Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens said.
Clemens says one of the main reasons this case was wrapped up so quickly was because of great police work and help from the public.
"We had officers that had good communication, realizing that there’s value in watching surveillance video, realizing what's going in the other part of town. And then we had citizens that had their ears and eyes open and gave us great information," Clemens said.
Grevlos also says not only are his employees ready, but his buildings are too.
"We have the best camera systems because I really don't want my employees to be the witnesses. I want the camera to be the witness. And that way the people really don't have any reason to harm my employees," Grevlos said.
While police are grateful for the public's help, they want to discourage anyone from taking a hands-on approach. Officers say it's best to get any information you can safely and get it to police.
The three people arrested were 20-year-old Carlos Janis, Sr.; 21-year-old Thomas Lucera, Jr. and 21-year-old Robert Lewis Jr. All from Sioux Falls and face two counts of first degree robbery and one count each of fleeing from police. Lewis, who was driving the car, is also charged with a DWI.