Two police car chases and an armed robbery in one day in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (Valley News Live) Two car chases in Grand Forks and an armed robbery all taking place on Sunday.

"We've had issues with a few things around town nowadays," said Heath Schafer a life-long Grand Forks resident. "I live on the north-end of town and there's been quite a few break-in in garages and things like that."

He believes crime is on the rise in Grand Forks.

Today, he's getting lunch at KFC on South Washington. It was there around closing time on Sunday someone robbed the place.

"He did display a hand gun," Sgt. Bill Wyatt with the Grand Forks Police Department said. "[He] Got an undetermined amount of cash and then left the restaurant."

The armed robbery marked the end of a busy Sunday.

There were two police car chases in-town.

"To have two in one weekend is certainly a little unusual," said Lt. Bill Macki with Grand Forks Police Department.

One chase ended at the intersection of 9th Ave N and N 5th st, a residential neighborhood, where police used a PIT (Pursuit Intervention Technique) maneuver to end the pursuit. The suspect fled after a report that the driver had assaulted someone at a motel.

Before then, an early morning traffic stop caused another suspect to take off down highway two, reaching speeds close to 100 miles per hour, before crashing in East Grand Forks.

Back at KFC, Schafer said he's had his own brush with local crime, "I own my own food trailer and I had all my propane tanks cut off with a bolt-cutter."

Police attribute the perceived crime spike to city growth.

"I believe that we're growing as a city and as we grow we're going to have more of those big city type problems," Sgt. Wyatt said.

Schafer offered up a possible solution.

"To be truthful, I think they should let their employees conceal-carry," Schafer said. "If you can't defend yourself, what are you going to do? All you gotta do is hand over the money, right? If somebody else inside is a possible conceal-carry person, how often do you think that's actually going to happen?"

KFC employees said they're not allowed to carry guns.

It's one man's idea to deter crime he sees on the rise.

"Rob us at your own risk," Schafer said.

The Grand Forks Police is a behind on releasing the latest crime stats from 2017. A new data management system has delayed the release of those numbers. Police expect to release the latest crime stats before the end of the month.