Police Hope Weekend Robbery Is Not Part Of A Growing Trend


TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)__Since July, 13 News has covered well over a dozen robberies in Topeka, the latest coming this past weekend at Red Robin.

Police did make two arrests in connection with the armed robbery early Sunday morning.

They also say the unpredictability behind similar crimes is difficult to prevent but there are still ways to keep citizens safe.

At around 1 am Sunday morning, police say Red Robin employees along Southwest 6th and Wanamaker were robbed and forced back into a small room at gun point.

About a half hour later, 23 year old Derick Crawford and 35 year old Travis Coffman were spotted by police at 6th and Lincoln and arrested. Both were charged with aggravated robbery.

Crawford was also charged with aggravated assault and criminal possession of a firearm.

Officers at the scene say items taken from an employee were recovered and no injuries were reported.

Officers say the summer months typically see a rise in crime, in the event of a robbery, it's usually best to stick together.

Lieutenant Joe Perry, of the Topeka Police Department, said, "The more people you are with the better, as opposed to being alone. In the military we called it our battle buddy and its the same here. If you are closing up the store, try to do it in pairs.

While it is nearly impossible to predict when and where any robbery will occur, Lieutenant Perry says longer store hours, increase a window of opportunity for thieves to strike.

These twenty four hour businesses, its tough because they are open real late at night and they are the only places open for them to do whatever they want to do."

On July 26th two individuals armed with a knife attempted to rob a lone teenager in the parking lot of a Topeka gas station on SE Adams. The victim, Bret Sterbach, fought back and police recently arrested both suspects.

While the courageous efforts of Sterbach were commended, Lieutenant Perry says Sterbach's effort is should be a rarity.

Lt. Perry says, "Don't try to be a hero, just give them what they want and be a great witness, and try not to provoke them...

Police are still investigating the armed robbery at Red Robin, and could not confirm if any surveillance video had been made available to law enforcement.


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