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Recent mugging attempts rare in F-M, police say

Despite two mugging attempts on Fargo's Fourth Street North this past weekend, local police say such incidents are uncommon.

"This is a fairly rare anomaly," Fargo Sgt. Jeff Skuza said. "We don't see a lot of stranger street crime."

Moorhead police Sgt. Deric Swenson agreed, saying he could not recall a mugging in the city in recent years.

"We typically don't have too many random acts of violence," he said. "Most of our stuff that we've had recently have been people who know each other. Often it's alcohol involved and a late-night argument that escalates."

Police are still investigating the Fargo incidents - reported about 10 p.m. Friday in the 500 block of Fourth Street North and about 8:35 p.m. Sunday in the 600 block.

Authorities believe there could be a connection between the two incidents given the same general description of the suspect involved in each case and the similar locations, Skuza said.

A 34-year-old woman, who was knocked out and had her purse stolen, said the suspect was a black man with gray stubble on his face wearing a red sweatshirt and black running pants.

A 19-year-old Fargo man, who was approached by a man with a knife and told to hand over his wallet, suffered a superficial wound to his abdomen after struggling with the suspect. He told police the suspect was a black male in his late teens about 6 feet 2 inches or taller with a thick build. The man had no facial hair or noticeable accent and was wearing a black shirt, blue jeans and a dog collar-type necklace, the victim told police.

Ron Sahr, who runs Sahr's Sudden Service at 601 4th St. N., said in the past 39 years he has had a few break-ins and acts of vandalism but nothing serious.

"With the people that live in this neighborhood, we've had absolutely no problems," he said.

Jimmy Crespo, who works nights and weekends at Steve's Package Store and lives nearby, said despite the recent muggings, he is not too worried about his safety, but he understands that crime sometimes happens.

"It goes with the territory," he said, noting the store's downtown location.

Crespo said he's cautious about what he does and tries to remain aware of his surroundings at all times, but for the most part he feels safe in his neighborhood.

In most cases, police don't recommend struggling with a suspect unless an individual believes they are about to be abducted.

"If they're trying to abduct you, then fight like crazy," Skuza said, recommending that an individual yell, fight or scream and make as much noise as possible.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541