Lincoln, Neb.-- Two men, weapons and potentially hundreds of dollars worth of electronics stolen.
Police believe the two people responsible for robbing Computer Hardware Inc. in Lincoln Wednesday are also the two men that robbed a Z Wireless and Jet Mobile Sprint store in February.
“They’re feeling that they have a product that can probably be easily disposed of,” Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong said.
In the last six months, Peschong said they’ve seen a more than 11 percent increase in the amount of overall robberies in Lincoln. He said convenience store robberies are the most common, but that it’s certainly unusual to see three robberies at electronic stores in a month's time.
And there are several similarities including robber description, the type of product stolen and that all three robberies happened in the early morning of business hours.
“I’m assuming that the robbers are feeling that maybe they’re not as apt to wind up having to deal with customers in stores,” Peschong said, “so, they’re trying to do it relatively quick when the businesses are opening up.”
Peschong said to combat these robberies, and the overall rise in crime, officers will be more visible at these shops during the day and at convenience stores. Sometimes, they may be right near a shop, or parked somewhere nearby with a clear view.
LPD believes these two thieves may try to sell their products to buyers in the city, online, or even target schools and school children.
But, Peschong said they could often follow an item online if it’s similar to one that was stolen. He also believes targeting students may eventually lead to someone finding out and reporting to police.
In the meantime, police urge shop owners to install panic alarms and keep less merchandise on the sales floor. The longer criminals take to find what they’re looking for, the more time police have to respond and potentially catch them in the act.
And, Peschong warns citizens to keep an eye out for anything unusual, especially around these electronic stores.
“Certainly, feel free to immediately wind up giving us call, call 911,” Peschong said.
“We’re OK with that. We’ll go out and if it proves to be nothing, that’s perfectly fine.”