7 armed robberies at Cedar Rapids businesses within two weeks, no arrests yet made

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 6:32 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Seven Cedar Rapids businesses have been robbed at gunpoint within the last two weeks.

The latest happened last night at Subway on Gateway Place SW, that location has been hit twice now, previously on November 17. That was followed by the Hy-Vee on Oakland Road which was robbed on the 19th, Perkins on the SW side was robbed on the 25th, Little Caesars and the Hy-Vee on Mount Vernon Road were both robbed on the 27th, and, finally, the Hy-Vee Drugstore on 6th Street SW was robbed on the 28th before the Subway was hit the second time last night.

“Businesses are already struggling now and honestly it’s not even like they’re getting that much cash from a Subway,” Jamie Pechota, manager of the impacted Subway location, said.

Pechota said her 15-year-old daughter was working the register both times they were robbed at gunpoint.

“It’s just scary,” Pechota said. “Just thinking how much worse it could be.”

No one has been injured physically during the robberies but emotionally, it’s been taxing on the employees involved.

“It took her a few days, about a week to even want to come back to work,” Pechota said.

Each robbery has happened after dark, the earliest one was at 4:53 p.m. at the Hy-Vee Drugstore on 6th Street SW. The latest was at 10:27 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Road Hy-Vee.

“We’re changing our hours, we’re closing at 6-o-clock now. So, yeah, in the long run it’s going to hurt the businesses even more but it’s the one thing that we think that we need to do right now to help keep the employees and customers, everybody safe,” Pechota said.

The Subway is also no longer accepting cash. They have put signs up making it clear there is no cash on their premises.

Police have not released any sort of picture or surveillance video from any of the robberies so far. Most of them have similar vague descriptions of a suspect we’re told was a black male, in a black hoodie, with a black face mask. A more specific description was given from the Perkins robbery, in particular: that suspect was described to be 20 to 30-years-old and 5 feet 8 inches tall with a thin build.

Police said there may be a connection between some of the robberies but they have more investigating to do. So far, no arrests have been made.

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