GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Two suspects have been arrested in connection with two armed robberies, police said early Tuesday.
Meanwhile, detectives are looking into whether or not the attempted robbery at a party store on the southwest side of Grand Rapids is related to the robbery at another party store on the northwest side of town.
The two robberies occurred within a half hour of one another on Monday.
Two suspects were involved in each of the crimes.
Security cameras captured both incidents.
First, an armed gunman targeted the Butterworth Party Store at around 10:15 a.m.
The clerk the customers call “Mama” was working. She said the men were wearing bandannas or scarves over their faces and that the shorter of the two men pulled a handgun and stood by the door.
The other man, which she described as very tall and skinny, towered over her. She said he came around the counter and tried to open the register himself, punching on the buttons while yelling at her.
However, the register didn’t open.
When a customer pulled up in a car, the men took off, she said.
Cameras caught them escaping down Butterworth, then rounding a corner on foot.
Across town about a half an hour later, two men of similar appearance walked into the family-owned Our Food Market. That’s where “Ricky” Devinder Singh had just opened up the store.
“They ask me, ‘Give us some money. Give us the money’.” said Singh, a clerk.
During the armed robbery, Singh said the two men were able to get away with some cash and cigarettes.
“One was the door, by this counter here. I was sitting here, was on the phone,” said Singh. “They come inside.”
During that robbery, Singh said one man stood by the door with a small handgun while the other approached the counter with a long gun.
“First time I have a gun in front of me,” said Singh. “A big gun. A big gun.”
After they pulled their weapons, he said the men made demands.
“Give us some money, cigarettes,” said Singh. “I just grabbed three to four packs and I give it to them. I just opened the register and gave it to them.”
After the men ran from the store, Singh chased them all the way down the block to an alley. He said he saw a waiting getaway car where he thinks a third person may have been inside.
“I just come outside and see them running this way to the alley and then I follow them to there,” said Singh. “I see them get in the car and run away and then I just come back, run into the store, and I call 911.”
Singh said he was a little bit frightened by the incident.
“Yeah a little bit scared you know, it’s kind of a shock,” said Singh.
If you have any information, you are encouraged to call Grand Rapids Police.