Local store owner on robbery spree: "Just be vigilant" - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local store owner on robbery spree: "Just be vigilant"

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Just be vigilant," said Gilbert. Just be vigilant," said Gilbert.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

There have been two brazen beat downs in just under a week. Now the question is, are robbers becoming more aggressive?

For the second time this week, a person has been assaulted in the middle of a robbery. The first happening at a Zip Trip in the Spokane Valley but the latest happening Thursday night at the Rite Aid on North Division Street next to the Burlington Coat Factory. Witnesses say the two suspects walked into the store and stole alcohol, while another suspect appeared to be on the look-out.

When a clerk confronted them, they attacked, beating the clerk with several different weapons sending him to the hospital. Thankfully, he has non-life threatening injuries.

It's had some stores on the lookout.

One local store manager that KHQ talked with has dealt with similar situations before but he has no fear. The worst situation? Back in April, a man came into the store demanding money and pointed a knife at him. But the store manager wasn't having it.

Ken Gilbert at the Sure Save Grocery said it didn't get very far. "I've got cameras everywhere, mirrors, everywhere," said Gilbert.

He pays close attention to his surroundings because, "I just had some idiot come in and try to rob me, all he has was just a knife and that won't get you anything but hurt," said Gilbert.

He's been working in the store for 10 years and says people know better than to steal from him.  "They know I watch them like a hawk. I saw his knife, I came around and grabbed my bar and I said, 'Now how much damage do you think that knife is going to do before I crack your skull open?'"

He pressed the panic button inside his store, calling police to the scene right away to catch the man.  "He says, 'Your insurance will cover it' and I say, 'It's not mine to give and it's not yours to have,'" said Gilbert.

Gilbert says once in a while there will be people trying to take off with alcohol, pocket candy bars, but he's got everything set in stone. If he's got one message for anyone? "Just be vigilant," said Gilbert.

Police say they don't ever recommend fighting in any way because you never know what will end up happening unless your personal safety is in jeopardy. Be a good witness, remember every detail you can about the suspect(s) and then call police to handle catching the people.

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