Armed robbers targeted multiple areas of Palm Springs over the weekend.
“It’s not a very comforting feeling,” said visitor Jeanette Fisher.
In the span of less than 48 hours, three people reported being mugged. The first two robberies happened early Saturday morning:
At around 1:30 a.m. two suspects armed with a handgun approached a man getting out of his car near Indian Canyon and Via Escuela and robbed him. The suspects, described as a black man and a Hispanic man, fled the area on foot.
Minutes later, a woman also reported being robbed at gunpoint while sitting in her car on the 100 block of W Tahquitz Canyon in downtown Palm Springs. The suspect is described as a black man who fled the area on foot.
And Sunday morning at around 8:15 a.m., a man walking near the 1000 block of North Palm Canyon Drive was offered a ride, and ended up robbed by two suspects wielding a knife. The suspects, described as two white men around 30 years old, fled in a brown, older vehicle (possibly a Nissan), with an Oregon license plate; first three numbers are 985.
All three victims surrendered property to the suspects, including cash, an iPhone and an iPad.
“Our detectives are working these incidents and our patrol officers are concentrating their efforts on areas that have a high number of pedestrians and vehicles,” said Sgt. Harvey Reed, spokesman for the Palm Springs Police Department.
According to police, it’s not unusual to see an increase in robberies during the holidays. And local businesses say they’ve seen more shoplifters as downtown Palm Springs gets into its busiest season.
“People wanting to steal gifts,” said Joy Meredith, president of Main Street Palm Springs, the merchants’ association. “So we’re just on our toes. Instead of having one or two people here we have three or four.”
Police say the best way to stay safe is to be aware of your surroundings and never walk or drive alone into vacant properties, alleys or areas you’re not familiar with.
“I’m more concerned with someone coming up behind me yanking the purse so that’s why this stays right next to me,” Fisher said.
“I think it’s good to look over your shoulder every now and then,” said Steve Martinson of Tucson.
Police say if you’re approached by someone demanding goods with a weapon, it’s best not to fight them.
“We recommend the person comply with the demands of the suspect because the safety of them and those around them is most important,” Sgt. Reed said.
If you have any information about these incidents contact Palm Springs Police or Valley Crime Stoppers at 760-341-STOP.