Green Bay Police frustrated by series of knife robberies

Published: Dec. 27, 2017 at 4:49 AM CST
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Green Bay Police are growing increasingly frustrated over a series of robberies in the past three weeks, the most recent happening Dec. 27 at a Subway on University Avenue.

The department has been investigating five robberies since Dec. 5. In each hold up, a man shows a knife, steals cash, and runs off.

Police believe two similar crimes in De Pere and Ashwaubenon could be connected to this string of robberies.

Six fast food restaurants have been targeted. The robber has also hit a Dollar General store and a Shell gas station.

Here's a timeline:

Dec. 5: a man with a knife robs a Cousins Subs store on W. Mason Street in Green Bay.

Dec. 10: a man with a knife robs a Subway in Ashwaubenon.

Dec. 11: a suspect uses a knife to rob a Dollar General store on S. Military Avenue in Green Bay.

Dec. 11: a man enters a Shell station at 841 Main Ave in De Pere and threatens a clerk with a knife. The man gets away with cash.

Dec. 18: a man with a knife robs a Burger King restaurant at 1005 S. Military Avenue in Green Bay.

Dec. 21: a man with a knife robs a Subway restaurant at 1007 W. Mason Street in Green Bay.

Dec. 26: a man with a knife holds up the Hardee's restaurant at the corner of West Mason Street and Packerland Drive in Green Bay. The suspect gets away with cash.

Dec. 27: a person with a knife robs a Subway restaurant on University Avenue.

All of the robberies happen in the late evening hours, usually on weeknights.

No one has been injured in the crimes, but police say it's a concern as these robberies continue.

"That's always a concern. Somebody's displaying a weapon and robbing places, so we're concerned for the safety of the workers and citizens, absolutely," says Commander Jim Runge, Green Bay Police Department. "He hasn't given us that indication that he's going to get violent, but you never know."

Many Action 2 News viewers have been asking about a description of the suspect. Police say the robber is always wearing a mask and says very little. That makes it hard to get a description.

"Basically, all we're seeing is eyes, every single time," Runge says. "Very generic description, ranges from White to Hispanic to Native American... doesn't say a lot. Enough to communicate to get the money and then leave."

Police are asking employees at these west side businesses to be vigilant. They met with workers Wednesday to give them advice.

"Be aware. Be aware if somebody just appears out of place. Just looks different, you know. Of course, this time of year, with the bitter cold, people are going to be covered up, but sometimes a person who's involved in criminal activity just acts a little differently, and maybe not everybody is tuned into that," Runge says. "But if you're working somewhere, any business, just start watching people. And that's part of the job anyway, people watching, and you'll start to pick up some stuff."

Runge says employees should be good witnesses and not heroes.

"Don't be a hero. Be a good witness. Be a good witness. And it's just a little thing that somebody sees that they may not think is important that will break it," Runge says. "Get every single detail of the person you can when they come in, see where they run. If they get into a vehicle, get a great description if possible."