Nov 182004
 
Authors: Hallie Woods

Editors note: The Collegian has withheld the last name of the owner of Wild Birds Unlimited since the investigation is ongoing.

The height of the robbery season has started early this year in Fort Collins.

Within the last few weeks, several robberies have occurred in and around the Fort Collins area. Although law officials say this is common during this time of year, the increase in robberies has fallen prematurely.

"We usually see an increase in robberies during the holiday months, however this is happening just a little bit earlier than we see in usual patterns," said Rita Davis, Fort Collins Police Services spokeswoman.

The first robbery occurred Oct. 9 involving a Caucasian female described to be in her early 20s. Just short of 3 p.m., the woman entered the Boston Market Restaurant, 3519 S. College Ave., with a handgun. The robber said her sister had been kidnapped and was in danger if the female behind the cash register did not hand over the money. However, FCPS later confirmed the ransom threat was false. The city police have recorded several drawings of the female, but the suspect has not been arrested.

"The Boston Market robbery is still under investigation and we are following through with information and tips that we receive," Davis said.

Several days later another robbery took place. According to the city of Fort Collin's Web site, at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Oct. 11 a young man entered Kohl's Store, 813 E. Harmony Road, with a handgun. After showing the female clerk that the gun was tucked in his waistband, he demanded money and left the store on foot.

Later that evening another robbery occurred at approximately 9 p.m. at the Schrader Oil Company Convenience Store, 7602 S. College Ave.

The suspects' description at this robbery matched that of the Kohl's robbery.

FCPS recognized the suspects' car speeding down the streets of West Stuart Street and Taft Hill Road, where police stopped the vehicle and arrested 19-year-old Tiffany Parzanici and 18-year-old Lane Fulton. The two teenagers are being held in custody on two accounts of aggregated robbery.

A fourth Fort Collins store fell victim to the crime on Oct. 26, when a Caucasian male in his early 20s entered Wild Birds Unlimited Store, 248 E. Monroe Drive. Although the clerk did not see a weapon, the suspect acted as though he carried a gun in his pocket. He demanded cash and left the store with approximately $250 and jumped into a vehicle for escape.

This suspect also has not been arrested.

"We've now installed security cameras in the store as well as other security measures," said Marion, an employee at Wild Birds Unlimited.

Although the city has seen a number of robberies, some students feel that the safety of Fort Collins has not been jeopardized.

"I think that Fort Collins is a safe place, so when something bad happens everyone hears about it because it gets over-publicized" said Rachel Stewart, a sophomore sports nutrition major.

With the holiday season approaching and a current robbery trend, police advise local business owners and staff to raise their awareness levels to the possibility of robbery.

"Keep a shift with two or more employees, be aware of suspicious people loitering, cooperate with the robber," Davis said. "Be observant and get a description of the suspect, notice how and which way they left, and cooperate with the police."

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