Area Robberies

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Eau Claire Police say this time of year is usually a quiet one for violent crime, but since the beginning of 2005, law enforcement has seen a steady stream of criminal activity.

In February, three local businesses were robbed, including one where a clerk was shot three times but survived.

Wednesday night, the Payless Shoe Store on Hastings Way was held up by a white male in his early twenties, who took an undetermined amount of money after threatening the clerk with a gun.

Police are still looking for suspects in that case, as well as the robbery of Lasker Jewelers the last week in February.

Police say the public can provide crucial information to investigators.

Observations of a neighbor helped lead police to suspects in the Ameriental robbery.

"{The neighbor} observed three individuals leaving the business," says Lt. John Arnette.

"{They} thought that was unusual running out of the business and jumping into a car.

That particular person not only gave a good description of the vehicle, but remembered the plate number."

Police say the more eyes and ears available, the more leads they have to pursue.

"If there's anything that just doesn't feel right, their gut instinct will usually tell them," says Arnette.

If you notice suspicious activity, make a note of the person's description, as well as the type of vehicle and license plate number, then contact police.