Security guard honored for stopping robbery attempt at Fargo jewelry store

Police say the suspects were part of a violent national crime ring that targets Rolex watches at jewelry stores.

Gavin Grismer (middle left) is presented with a Citizen Citation for Distinguished Service award by Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski (middle right).
Matt Henson / WDAY News

FARGO — Gavin Grismer says he was just doing his job when he stopped several would-be robbers from trying to barge into a Fargo jewelry store to rob it.

He later learned they were part of a violent, national, organized crime ring which targets jewelry stores across the country.

For his efforts, Fargo Police Department Chief David Zibolski honored Grismer with a Citizen Citation for Distinguished Service on Thursday, May 25.

For anyone who's visited Gunderson's Jewelers in south Fargo in recent months, Grismer likely opened the door for them.

The exception being for some visitors on Feb. 8.


"They kind of whipped into the parking lot really fast and that was the big red flag, and three of them hopped out of their car all at once which you don't see that at a jewelry store," he said.

Grismer, who usually sits by the store's front door, said they were dressed in military uniforms and N95 masks.

"When I saw they had some weapons on them I knew something was not going to be good if they got through those doors," Grismer said.

With employees and a customer inside, Grismer quickly locked the doors to try and stop the heist.

"I kind of read his lips, and it seemed like he was saying they have security here and that was enough for them to say we're done with this place," Grismer said.

Grismer said there were five people in the car. He was able to give police critical information about their getaway.

Two of the five people were arrested in Michigan two days later.

They had just been released from prison, and are part of a violent national crime ring that targets Rolex watches at jewelry stores across the country.


At the time of the robbery Grismer had only been on the job for a few months.

"At risk to your own safety, you directly contributed to the prevention of a felony crime," Zibolski said during the presentation.

Grismer said he was happy and shocked about receiving the award, but even happier everyone was safe that day.

"Just doing my job, really didn't think much of it at the time I was doing it, just doing my job and making sure everyone is safe," he said.

Thursday was Grismer's last day at Gunderson's for a few months. He'll be guarding Lake Shirts in Detroit Lakes over the summer.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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