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Armed robbery at DL Tobbaco

Frazee Police Chief Mike Johnson conducts an interview after an armed robbery at DL Tobacco in Detroit Lakes late Thursday afternoon. The Frazee Police Department was among the agencies that assisted the Detroit Lakes Police Department after the robbery.

Detroit Lakes police are searching for two suspects in an armed robbery that occurred about 3:30 p.m. Thursday at DL Tobacco.

A young Detroit Lakes woman said she and a friend were at the counter ready to make a purchase when two young men entered the store, and put bandanas partially over their faces. Then one pulled a handgun, pointed it at them, and demanded money.

The man took about $25 from her. She and her male friend said the man working behind the counter left quickly out the back way.

The young witness was still shaking as she sat in a car nearby and talked about how the robber had pointed the gun at her for what seemed like a long time, before shifting his attention to trying to remove the cash register.

It was attached to various cables and plug-ins, making it difficult to remove quickly, so she and her friend took the opportunity to move quickly out the front door of the tobacco shop, located on the 600 block of Washington Avenue near the BNSF railroad tracks.

Police arrived quickly and were searching the area for the two suspects, according to an employee at the Northside Bar.

The shop was in disarray shortly after the robbery, with a heap of items on the floor near the counter. The owner of the tobacco shop declined to comment. 

Detroit Lakes Police Chief Tim Eggebraaten says they do have a few persons of interest, but no concrete suspects yet.

While Eggebraaten says officers are looking at surveillance video, he doesn’t want to put out a description.

“We’re just asking people in the area at that time if they saw anything, to let us know, but we don’t want to limit it to a description — we want to keep it wide open so that we can get all the information we can,” said Eggebraaten, who says from start to finish, the incident lasted under a minute.

Eggebraaten also added that investigators are still trying to determine what was taken from the shop.

He says when robbers show a gun like what was reported in this incident, it elevates the case.

“From our perspective, it does raise the ante quite a bit, and we want to make sure we pursue it as far as we can and get it solved,” said Eggebraaten.