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Deputies search for suspects in robbery series in Caruthers and Laton

Store clerks in Fresno County are on high alert

CARUTHERS, Calif. - A series of armed robberies continues to grow in Caruthers, making more store clerks afraid. The Fresno County Sheriff's Office says a crew of suspects is responsible for six armed robberies within the last month.

Deputies did arrest two teens for robbing a Dollar General in Caruthers on Tuesday. One teen actually opened fire into the ceiling of Dollar General while the other teen waved a knife around, deputies say. But the two teens aren't tied to the string of robberies that detectives are focused on.

Ranjit Kaur is in her element. The Valero on West Tahoe Avenue is like her second home. Four years ago she left India for the Valley. She's even picked up some Spanish and Caruthers is special to her.

"I love this town because I love the people," said Kaur.

But recently, she's experienced true fear.

"There are stupid things going on in this town," said Kaur to a customer.

Surveillance video from November 14 shows a masked man walk into the Valero with a gun.

"They say give me all your money. Give me money," recalled Kaur.

Kaur and her co-worker quickly handed over the cash.

"It's very scary man," said Kaur.

Detectives say the armed robbery spree kept going. Two days later on at the Caruthers Market. Then November 18 at Cargo Market in Laton. More than a week later on November 29 at the Valero again. The suspects hit the Caruthers Market again on December 2 before robbing Dollar General the next day.

"We are gonna step up patrols to have cars pass through there more often. Maybe some cars cross over from different areas just to increase that visibility," said Tony Botti with the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.

Store clerks in the area like Kaur, are hoping the suspects are arrested soon. Despite the growing paranoia, she is usually smiling but she's more aware than ever.

"I am afraid definitely when somebody enter inside," said Kaur.

Deputies say there could be three suspects involved in this string of robberies. They're seen on camera wearing hoodies, masks and gloves. Call the Fresno County Sheriff's Office if you have any information.


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