TOPEKA – - It’s the second armed robbery in only two days: robbers hit another Kwik Shop early this morning.
It was the second Kwik Shop robbery in 48 hours, and the fourth convenience store robbery just this month. As we showed on a map during Monday’s newscasts, there is no logical pattern to the armed robberies in the last month.
The latest happened a little after 1:30 Wednesday morning at the Kwik Shop on northeast Wabash. According to officers three black men went into the store, robbed it and then left on foot. One of the men had a shotgun the other two had silver handguns. All three were wearing long black or grey sweatshirts with black jeans.
Jeff Lenard with the National Association of Convenience Stores says stations should minimize the risk by only keeping $50 in the register. Secondly, he says to maximize the risk for would-be robbers.
“That means taking down the signs on the windows so people can see out, and you can see out and people can see in. What that does is it makes it more likely that anybody committing a crime will be spotted,” Lenard explained.
Lenard says just because many convenience stores like the Kwik Shop are open 24 hours a day doesn’t make them more of a target.
“Let’s just say you shut down at 11 pm at night and open at 5 o’clock the next morning,” Lenard described. “There are two points where where money is going through the store and often times that’s even more attractive to criminals, so 24 hour operations aren’t inherently more dangerous.”
A spokesman for Kwik Shop told Kansas First News: “We’re working with law enforcement very closely, but because it’s an active investigation, we can’t comment on what we’re doing internally.”
Meanwhile, Krogers which owns Kwik Shop as well as Dillon’s does employee security at some of their Topeka Dillon’s stores according to spokeswoman Sheila Lowery. Some are uniformed; some are in plain clothes.
The Topeka Police Department says officers are stepping up patrols. Spokeswoman Kristen Veverka says while they only have a limited number of officers out at any time on any shift, the officers have been advised to patrol these business areas more frequently when they are not at calls.
A robbery occurs every 46 seconds in the U.S. that’s according to the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association. In a handout for members, employees are instructed on what to do in case of a robbery. Some are fairly common sense such as follow the robbers instructions. Also, trigger any “silent” alarms.
But other advice isn’t as obvious, such as avoid eye contact and focus on characteristics of the robber that may assist in identification. Lastly, victims should write down what they remember about the robbery so they don’t forget any details.
If you know the identity of the Kwik Shop robbers, call Crime Stoppers at 234-0007.