A string of armed robberies hit convenience stores in Yakima and Union Gap

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A chain of robberies are making a pattern, sharing similar circumstances. There has been a total of five armed robberies, three in Yakima and two in Union Gap. KIMA spoke with all five business owners.

"He's going to walk in and then pull a gun to the cashier," said Kulvander Singh.

Kulvander Singh owns the Conoco station in Yakima. Tuesday night, his store was the first in this rash of robberies. He showed KIMA a surveillance video from the robbery inside his store.

"One outside and just one guy came inside," said Singh.

A string of armed robberies have hit convenience stores in Yakima and Union Gap. Police told us they think they could be related since all situations are similar. A masked man wearing a bandana enters, pulls out a revolver and leaves with the money.

"They could pull the trigger if they want, they have big guns," said Singh. "This is very strange, every single night, three nights in a row."

Kulvander told KIMA the gunman stole more than just cash, he stole their sense of security.

Law enforcement officials say robberies tend to occur in clusters and that it can be a group of people preying on small businesses to make quick cash.

"I think part of it has to do with the economy," said Randy Renner. "Just, it's that time of year, people are getting desperate. There's no jobs."

Randy Renner works at the Airline Market in Union Gap. He's heard about all of the robberies, now his store's owner keeps the doors locked, only letting one customer in at a time.

Thursday night union gap police sat across the street keeping a close eye on the Airline Market. It happened to be a coincidence, police were at the right place at the right time and stopped what could have been a potential robbery. They were able to chase down one of the suspects on foot.

Friday night authorities arrested another suspect they believe is linked to these robberies.

Employees are hoping they'll soon be safe now that some arrests have been made.