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Surveillance video of the armed robber at Town and Country Credit Union.

Robber hits bank, burglaries continue

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West Fargo Police Department officials continue to investigate a string of burglaries that occurred last weekend, as well as an armed robbery that was reported Monday afternoon, August 3, at 3:30 p.m., at the Town and Country Credit Union, 925 14th Ave. E. The robber was armed with what was believed to be a dark colored semi-automatic pistol, getting away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

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The alleged suspect was described by bank officials and through video surveillance as a white male with dark brown hair in his late 20s or early 30s and of slender build. He was wearing a blue or black hooded Envy Power Sports sweatshirt, red bandana, jeans, red mask, sunglasses, black baseball cap, open toed sandals and carried a silver white shopping bag.

Nobody was injured in the incident. The robber left the bank after a couple of minutes and was tracked by a K9 dog for a short distance before losing the track.

West Fargo Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said Monday morning that no additional information was available, adding the department will be working with other local law enforcement officials and the FBI on the investigation.

The rash of burglaries occurring over the weekend numbered 22, including nine homes targeted in Charlewood, eight in Tintes Addition and five north of 13th Avenue, along 12th Avenue between Second Street and Sixth Street East. The incidents occurred Thursday and Saturday evening, July 30 and Aug. 1, and were reported the following mornings.

West Fargo Assistant Police Chief Mike Reitan said of the 22 incidents, 20 involved either unlocked car or house doors. The remaining two were forced entries, one where an individual was confronted in a Charleswood home; the other in Brookwood Mobile Home Park.

Reitan said the forced entry incidents were not related to the other burglary attempts. In the incident in Charlewood, the intruder didn't believe anybody was home and when confronted fled the scene without capture. The homeowner didn't turn the light on and was only able to give a vague description.

Since April of this year, there have been approximately 60 burglary attempts overall, with about 35 of them alone occurring between the Charlewood and Tintes areas.

Reitan noted that not all of the burglaries have been residential in nature, there have also been a number of business burglaries including areas on Main Avenue and a local pharmacy, which resulted in arrests. Arrests have also been made in a couple of the residential type burglaries.

Reitan said the belief is that a number of people are involved in the current burglaries, with those in Charleswood and Tintes Additions connected and being conducted by the same person or group of people.

"We have no hard suspects at this point," he added. "We are following up on some information but we don't know if it's going to lead to suspects. The thing that I see is that this is going to be a cooperative effort between law enforcement and the public to end this. Between additional efforts put forth by the police department and tips from the public, we believe we'll be able to successfully investigate and prosecute those responsible."

In an attempt to better pinpoint who the party or parties might be, Reitan said the department will be conducting some crime analysis, looking at the times and days of the incidents reported and trying to figure out a pattern or some information that will be enough to clue them into a particular person.

In the meantime, Reitan is urging people to call the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500 if they see or hear anything at all suspicious. Individuals are also asked to call the same number with information on the armed robbery.

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