A serial robber continued his crime spree Monday, holding up a Minneapolis candy store for the second time in two weeks, police said.
The unknown suspect has struck 13 times in the past month, robbing gift shops, jewelry stores, dry cleaners, and other small businesses in south Minneapolis.
Employees at the Candy Jar, in the 3800 block of Cedar Avenue South, expressed disbelief Monday after their store was robbed for a second time in two weeks.
"After the first time, we actually felt safer," said Sara, an employee who asked that her last name not be used. "We thought, 'OK, what are the chances?'"
Minneapolis police Sgt. Jesse Garcia said the suspect appears to be targeting small businesses with female clerks.
Police officials said the suspect has been armed with a knife or Leatherman-type utility tool in all but one of the incidents. In two of the cases, the suspect mentioned a gun, but no gun was seen.
In most of the incidents, the suspect took cash and merchandise after ordering victims to lie down on the floor. One employee sustained injuries during a struggle with the suspect, but there have been no injuries in the other 12 robberies.
Garcia recommends that all small businesses install surveillance cameras to deter the robber.
"Be a little leery," Garcia said. "Basically, if the guy does come in and he threatens you, there's no amount that's worth your safety. Just give him what he's asking for."
Police officials describe the suspect as an African American man, anywhere from 25 to 40 years old, between 5'6" and 5'10", with a medium to heavy build, and short black hair.
The suspect was seen leaving one robbery scene in a maroon van with Minnesota license plates.
Police officials have asked that anyone with information about the incidents contact the robbery unit at: 612-673-2941.