Clerks Caught in the Line of Fire after Rash of Lansing Robberies

By: Jennifer Dowling Email
By: Jennifer Dowling Email
Police have advice about what to do if you find yourself in a robbery situation.


Store Manager John Summers was on the floor, stocking a cooler at L&M on Willow Street, when two men held up the store, grabbing him from behind. The men hit him twice with a heavy juice bottle that was in the cooler. Summers says, "Because I reacted, they broke a bottle over my head, and then they broke another one, and I then chased them out of the store.

Mary's on East Grand was also robbed within a few minutes of the robbery at L&M Saturday. Summers says, "It has to be connected."

The Corner Market at the 1300 block of East Main was also robbed on Saturday. The suspects didn't get any money from that store, because the store owner said he had a gun. Police believe it was the same group of suspects that robbed the other two stores, or the crimes are at least related. Police say, if you find yourself in that situation, comply. Lt. Noel Garcia says, "Cooperate with their demands, don't escalate the situation."

Assistant Manager Amanda Mesi knows all about compliance. She survived an armed robbery at the Dollar store on South Cedar the Friday after Thanksgiving. She says the man came into the store and asked for a toy for a 10-year-old child. She says he went to look at an item, then came back with a gun under his clothes. She said she followed his instructions. Mesi says, "He was like, don't touch the money, I'll take it and he just reached over, and was grabbing the money."

Just two stores down at Mancino's, Richard Dubro was ordered into a freezer in the restaurant after two suspects burst in about two weeks ago. He feels it may be the same men responsible for the robberies that occurred at the convenience stores over the weekend. Dubro says, "It was really frightening, just the fact that someone could just come in and at any point and take your life."

All three victims say employees need help. Lt. Garcia says property owners should make sure their properties are well lit because that deters crime. He says security cameras are also a great tool because the media can take that video and show it to the public. Employees say property owners should install cameras inside the stores. In the Dollar store crime and the Mancino's robbery, there were only cameras located in the parking lot. There were none facing the store entrances or inside of the stores themselves.

Employees also feel that the property owners should pay for private security patrols if the police can't help. Summers says, "With the economy the way it is, I think police patrols need to be stepped up."Summers says until then, store clerking is going to remain a much more dangerous line of work.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2009 at 11:04 AM
    Some jobs are not worth the pay. A night clerk at a liquor store in a high crime neighborhood is one of them.
  • by JD Location: south side,LANSING on Dec 1, 2009 at 08:13 AM
    Every year around this time you see alot of place's getting robbed, I worked at a "SUBWAY" and was robbed, then had a second person attempt to rob me,the guy i replaced was robbed, and my brother also worked there and was robbed, the store had an out dated camera system,that was never on because the vhs tapes they recorded on were to expensive for the millionaire owner to purchase, basically owner's of alot of these type of store's , would rather put an employee in a dangerous situation,because there insurance will cover there loss,and employee's are a dime a dozen, So the only choice you hav is to come to a minimum wage job and risk your life for an owner that doesn't ever know your name, or quit and hope you can pay your bill's, stay safe
  • by Anonymous on Dec 1, 2009 at 07:28 AM
    Thank you jennifer for allowing more of these felons out on the street.
  • by jeff Location: alma, mi on Nov 30, 2009 at 07:57 PM
    I say a good way to survive a robbery, mugging, or any other dramatic event is move away from (mini-flint) lansing while your still alive...
  • by Chris Location: dug out cave in Mason on Nov 30, 2009 at 06:14 PM
    I think these clerks should start recieving combat pay.
  • by k Location: lansing on Nov 30, 2009 at 04:51 PM
    The police say to comply when you're being robbed, that may be true in some cases,but in certain situations,you may do everything right and still get shot or killed, it all depends on the criminal,how desperate they are, how scared they are, they are just as scared as you. So just be careful,and don't risk you own life to give away someone elses money that they worked hard for.
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