All crimes have spikes and slow-downs. But when instances of a specific crime double over a period of time, officers take notice. That is the unfortunate trend right now with convenience store robberies. There have been 16 so far this year. Twice as many as during the first three months of 2013.
The crime analysis unit at the Lincoln Police Department are breaking down the numbers. As they do a pattern is starting to form.
Officers use the number to put the pieces together. For example, 9 of the 16 robberies happened between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m. 3/4 of the crimes happened on Saturday, Sunday or Monday and almost half were in the northwest section of the city.
Police say they are hitting the streets in those problem areas at the peak times.
Officers hope the extra information will help them cut down on the amount of robberies, either by catching the criminals in the act or by simple awareness.
Many of the stores that have been robbed have asked police to train their clerks on what to do and what not to do if they are ever hit again.
Lpd says many times these spikes are caused by a small amount of criminals on a spree. Last month Terrance Nevels was arrested in connection to four daytime robberies. Surveillance images from three different stores show suspects in similar masks leading police to believe they are related. Now they need your help to stop them from striking again.
If you have information on any of this year's robberies call Crimestoppers at 475-3600.