Tuesday , May 28 2024

As Robbery Stats Rise in Fresno Co., Mini Marts Continue to Stay Vigilant

Staggering statistics show robberies are way up in both Fresno City and Fresno County. The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said armed robberies have doubled.

Recent surveillance video from some of the various robberies offer startling proof of a disturbing trend that makes running local convenience stores a potentially deadly proposition.

David "Butch" Benjamin is the owner of University Market in Clovis. He said on Thursday, “We know that people are gonna come in and they’re gonna be on drugs. We’ve had them drunks, so we’re gonna have problems.”

For Benjamin, it’s all about preventative measures at his store.

“What we do with our employees, I said, I can’t replace a human life. So they’re trained to, if they ever have an armed robbery, just give whatever they want, you know, no resistance,” said Benjamin.

Benjamin is one of the lucky ones. He said he’s been robbed only once in 42 years. But the latest numbers within Central Valley law enforcement are startling.

Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said, “We compared statistics from January to June from 2014 to 2015 and it’s kind of staggering. The numbers are up almost double.”

Botti said from January to June last year, there were 24 robberies in the county. In January to 2015 to now, there have been 46.

According to the Fresno Police Department, last year in the City of Fresno there were 780 robberies. So far this year, there have been 414.

Both law enforcement agencies said drugs and Prop 47 are to blame, and at this point the best defense is to offer no resistance.

Joe Gomez with the Fresno Police Department said, “I wouldn’t fight a robber. You never know if they have a gun. A lot of time they fame and say they have a gun – they don’t really have a gun. But, you never know, and it’s not worth it.”

Benjamin said he takes other preventative measures like not keeping a lot of cash in the store, and putting a lot of lights and cameras around the premises.

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