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Robbery at Super America could be linked to other crimes

The Super America at 1424 Broadway was robbed at gun point just before midnight on March 18. (Annie Harman/Echo Press)1 / 3
Surveillance cameras caught images of the suspect at Super America believed to be involved in the recent string of robberies. (Provided by Alexandria Police Department)2 / 3
Surveillance cameras caught images of the suspect at Super America believed to be involved in the recent string of robberies. (Provided by Alexandria Police Department)3 / 3

Just before midnight on March 18, the Alexandria Police Department received a 911 call of a robbery that had just taken place at Super America, located near 15th Avenue and Broadway.

The suspect held the clerk at gun point and demanded cash from the till. He then tied the employee’s hands and ankles and took her to a back room. At one point, the suspect threw the clerk on the floor, causing her to bleed from the nose and face.

The suspect exited out the front door and showed a customer sitting in a vehicle his handgun, demanding the person’s wallet, according to police.

Officers were able to track the suspect for a short distance and determined that an unknown vehicle picked him up.

The clerk was taken to the Douglas County Hospital, treated for injuries and later released.

Police are trying to locate the owner of a light-colored crossover model vehicle that was in the Super America parking lot at about 11:55 p.m.

“We believe the driver of this vehicle may have witnessed something and are asking for help in trying to identify who would have been driving this vehicle,” said Police Chief Rick Wyffels.

The Alexandria Police Department has reason to believe that all three of the most recent robberies in the area are related, according to Wyffels. This includes the robbery that took place at the Subway on 9th Avenue and Broadway on February 23 and the Premiere Video robbery at 307 North Nokomis on March 10.

The suspect is a white male, approximately 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium to slender build. He also has a pronounced outstep on both legs and feet with the right leg and foot being very pronounced pointing outward.

“When someone hides their identity well with masks and tape,” said Wyffels, “it just makes things harder. It’s like playing hide-and-seek with a bunch of people and you don’t know who they are.”

When asked if the police had any ideas for a possible motive, Wyffels said that although he does not understand the suspect’s psychology, these types of crimes are never committed with hopes for big financial gain.

“Something is wrong with this individual,” Wyffels said. “He enjoys victimizing people and has disregard for public safety.” Wyffels believes that the suspect gets some sort of internal satisfaction from committing these crimes.

Wyffels has stated that the Alexandria Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) are pooling all of their resources to catch the suspect. He also has said that they are reaching out for help from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“The truth is,” Wyffels said, “We have a rat in our town. He needs to be caught. We need to stop him and bring peace back into the lives of the people in our community.”

The Alexandria Police Department and the Douglas Sheriff’s Office issued a safety alert to businesses regarding the armed robberies and the suspect.  The information is being provided so that store managers and employees can be on the alert for suspicious or unusual behavior.

Anyone with information about the most recent string of robberies is urged to call the Alexandria Police Department at (320) 763-6631.

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
(320) 763-1233