GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – There have been 10 holdups in two months in Grand Rapids and police are sending out an alert to local small businesses.
The crooks steal cash, but they have a trademark. They grab Newport Cigarettes. Because of that, they have been referred to as the Newport Bandits.
Most of the 10 stores the Newport Bandits have hit in the last couple of months are small operations, like Guddi’s Beer and Wine on 1220 College Avenue, north of Leonard Street.
“My employee said they just walked in here with masks on and everything and gloves on and they were fully prepared, said Victor Singh, owner of Guddi’s.
The Newport Bandits move fast. At one robbery, they were out the door in a minute and six seconds. They don’t hurt anybody but if customers are in the store they rob them too.
The Newport Bandits seem calm and organized. One of men will point a gun at the clerk while the other goes over the counter and picks the cash out of the register.
At Guddi’s, Victor Singh says they told his employee to bag up all the cash.
This was the first robbery at Guddi’s in 13 years, but it worries the people who work there.
“Yeah, it’s because this is a family owned business. My wife works as well sometimes. Sometimes I’m here. Sometimes my employees are here,” said Singh. “It is dangerous. We worry about each other, you know. It’s like team work.”