LACEY, Wash. — Two 7-Eleven stores in Lacey were targeted in armed robberies overnight Tuesday, as the police search for the suspects involved.
Police said the group of suspects targeted a 7-Eleven store at 6125 Pacific Ave SE after 12:30 a.m.
Surveillance video showed three masked men walking into the store, including one that was armed with a gun. The store clerk went into the back room and the suspects left without stealing anything.
One hour prior to the robbery attempt, police said the suspects tried to rob a 7-Eleven store at 2425 Marvin Rd NE about 11:15 p.m. Two men entered the store and fled. This store was three miles away.
Investigators have not connected the two armed robberies together as of Tuesday morning. There were no shots fired and no injuries in the robberies.
"The fact that they run up on people that are basically defenseless," a store customer told KING 5. "It's childish. Very childish and insecure. It's not OK. They need to be arrested and put behind bars."
These armed robberies continue a trend across western Washington. Four different 7-Eleven stores were robbed in King County on May 30.
Twelve different overnight robberies alone in King County were confirmed by KING 5 in a one-week span in April.
Convenience store owners have proposed stationing officers near convenience store parking lots. The King County Sheriff's Office said it is attempting to increase business checks, but with so many 24-hour store locations and limited staffing, it is not an easy task.
"People are scared to come to convenience stores at night because they are not sure if criminal activity like robbery etc. are taking place there or not," said Chander Shekher, president of the 7-Eleven Franchisee Owners' Association of the Northwest.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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