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Police arrest robbery suspect

In the wake of the fourth robbery in a week, Grand Forks police say they've arrested a 19-year-old man linked to the string of convenience store hold-ups.

Gypsy Watts
Gypsy Watts

In the wake of the fourth robbery in a week, Grand Forks police say they've arrested a 19-year-old man linked to the string of convenience store hold-ups.

Gypsy Watts of Grand Forks was nabbed early Tuesday morning and booked for robbery at the county jail.

His arrest followed a report of a Monday night robbery at Big Cigs, 1207 N. Fifth St. Police say a robber, whose face was concealed, displayed a weapon to the clerk and made off with cash.

In the interest of their investigation, police would not reveal what sort of weapon was used or how much money was stolen. But Sgt. Brett Johnson did say the weapon used was not a firearm and that it was similar to those used in previous robberies.

April 27, two Cenex stores in Grand Forks were held up in the early morning hours by two masked men wielding golf clubs. One of the same stores was robbed again over the weekend by a man wearing a red bandana on his face, carrying a 2-foot-long wooden club and claiming to have a gun.

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At Big Cigs, Johnson said the clerk was alone when the robber entered the store at about 10:40 p.m. Monday.

The sergeant said "confidential sources" gave information that helped officers arrest Watts without incident about 3:45 a.m. Tuesday on the street near the intersection of Eighth Avenue North and North Washington Street.

Johnson said investigators suspect Watts of taking part in all four robberies.

"That's the way it looks, but we're still investigating," he said.

Watts remained in custody Tuesday evening.

As for the other man who took part in the April 27 robberies, Johnson said, "We've got a first name, so we're still looking into who it is."

Following the robberies in which golf clubs were used, police received several calls from people who had found golfing equipment: a golf club handle at a Laundromat, a broken club stuck in a yard, a club lying by a vehicle and a golf glove next to a garage. But Johnson said investigators don't know if the items found are connected to the robberies.

The department urges anyone with information that could help the investigation to call (701) 787-8000.

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Ingersoll reports on crime and courts. Reach him at (701) 780-1269; (800) 477-6572, ext. 269; or e-mail aingersoll@gfherald.com .

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