Police investigating armed robbery at Northtown Cleaners in River Falls
At 6:31 p.m. June 13, River Falls police were sent to Northtown Cleaners, 402 N. Main St., for a report of an armed robbery.
According to the police report, witnesses said two men entered the cleaners. One man asked for buttons to be sewed on a coat, and the other purchased a drink from a pop machine.
A staff person said she asked one of the men if they were doing any laundry that day as the business was going to close in 30 minutes. The men said they were not doing any laundry, the staff person reported.
The employee reported that one of the men came around the back of the counter with a small handgun in hand, put the handgun to her back and told her to open the safe.
She said she did so, and gave the man a bag containing $120-$150. The man also took a box of rolled quarters.
A K-9 unit was called, and attempted to track the suspects, but was not able to. DNA samples were collected from the pop machine.
Footage from nearby security cameras was to be checked by police.
The suspects were described by witnesses as two African American males. One was described as "larger" and having dreadlocks. The other was described as "smaller," or thinner. The two were wearing white shirts and black pants.
Police Chief Gordon Young said if anyone has any information on the suspects, they should call the police department at the non-emergency number, 715-425-0909.
"These types of crimes are extremely rare in River Falls," Young said. "This is the first business armed robbery since I have been Chief of Police."
Young has been chief for more than three years.
Young offered the following safety advice which can be used in the event of an armed robbery.
• Stay calm and collected so your actions demonstrate you are not a threat.
• Do not fight the robber or make fast or sudden movements.
• While you should cooperate with robbers, don't volunteer any assistance.
• Activate silent alarms or other security devices if you can do this without detection.
• Remember what the robber looked liked. Take mental notes of height, weight, clothes, or other distinguishing aspects.
• Remember what the robber did. Keep a mental record of everything the robber did and in what order.
• Call the police and lock all doors after the robber leaves.
• Do not discuss what happened with any other witnesses. Your own impressions should be kept untainted until you have talked with authorities.