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‘Everything is fine’ at Premiere Video

Premiere Video is located at 307 North Nokomis.

Before a suspect in the recent crime was apprehended, Premiere Video openly confirmed that they were feeling back to normal after the armed robbery on March 10.

“We work in retail, so we knew the risk is there,” said store manager Stacy Smith. Smith has been with the company since 1993 and at the location on 307 North Nokomis since 2005. She believes that situations like this are a little expected.

A big help in getting everything back to normal, Smith said, was that they had already been through this once before. During a late night shift in August 2012, an employee was robbed at gun point. The employee didn’t receive any injuries but was locked in the bathroom.

“For the most part, our core staff is still here from the last incident,” Smith said. “We’ve been through it before so that made it easier this time around.” As far as Smith knows, the last robber was never caught.

Smith said there were a few employees that were a little nervous about working late shifts after the most recent robbery.

“Being a part of a corporation,” Smith said. “There is only so much we can do budgeting wise. We can’t just add another staff member at night.”

Because of the budgeting issue, Smith said that they have been unofficially double staffed. Employees have been volunteering their time off the clock to be in the store with whatever employee is assigned the night shift.

“One will come in for 30 minutes or an hour and just hang out in the store,” Smith said. “Then another person will come in and they keep rotating until the store closes.”

As far as business goes, Smith believes that it has actually improved since the robbery.

“I’m not sure if it’s the weather or if people just kind of forgot about us,” Smith laughed. “A lot of the renters lately have been people who haven’t rented in a long time.”

During the robbery in March, there was a customer in the store and another customer who interrupted the suspect by returning a video. As of now, the store has been unable to find out who the customer was in the store; Smith said she can only hope that the person is OK. The customer who returned the video, however, stopped into the store the next day to check on the employees and make sure everyone was all right.

The only issue Smith believes has come from the robbery is that when the incident occurred, the store was in the process of hiring, which has now become difficult.

After 27-year-old Michael Warren of Alexandria was arrested on March 21 in connection to the recent armed robberies, Smith said the staff at Premiere Video felt a huge sense of relief.

“We’re all really excited,” Smith said. “We are definitely breathing a lot easier.”

Both Subway and Super America, the two other businesses recently robbed at gun point, declined to comment on the recent events.

Annie Harman
Annie Harman is a reporter for Echo Press and The Osakis Review. She grew up in Detroit Lakes and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a degree in print journalism and history in May 2012. Follow her on Twitter at annieharman
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