FARGO -- A woman who made a nighttime bank deposit for Kentucky Fried Chicken in West Fargo was followed home by a stranger Wednesday night - the night before another employee was robbed at gunpoint while making a similar deposit, police say.
Investigators are trying to determine if the two incidents were related, but Detective Joe Birrenkott said the case is a good example of why police advise businesses to stagger their deposit times.
"Some of these businesses have a routine, and there may be people watching them," he said.
In the robbery case, police were called at 10:05 p.m. Thursday to Alerus Financial, 901 13th Ave. E.
A KFC assistant manager told police he was in his car getting ready to deposit the money bag when a man dressed in a black hooded sweatshirt, gray mask and dark pants came up behind him, knocked on his partially rolled-down window, pointed a handgun at his head and ordered him to hand over the bag, Detective Greg Warren said.
The suspect took the bag and ran east down 14th Avenue before the victim lost sight of him near Gordmans, Birrenkott said. A bloodhound tracked a scent to the same area before losing it, he said.
Warren said the victim was "pretty shook up" and unable to give a detailed description of the suspect, described as about 6 feet tall with a "thinner" build.
The robbery wasn't caught on surveillance camera, Birrenkott said.
According to the police dispatch log, at 10:29 p.m. Wednesday, a woman reported a gray sport utility vehicle had followed her to her Fargo apartment and had tried to hit her while she was driving. Birrenkott confirmed that the woman had made the deposit for KFC that night.
The money bag stolen Thursday contained an amount in the hundreds of dollars, as well as personal checks, Birrenkott said. Anyone who wrote a check Thursday to the KFC at 1410 13th Ave. E. should check with their bank to see if it cleared, he said.
Warren said armed robberies such as Thursday's have happened before in West Fargo, but they aren't common.
"It's very rare for it to go down like this, and we've had people that have been accosted at the night deposit before, but it's been a long time," he said. "It's not something that's prevalent."
Birrenkott said anyone who feels like they're being followed shouldn't hesitate to call police.
Anyone with information about the robbery, including anyone who was in the area of Gordmans around 10 p.m. Thursday, is asked to call West Fargo police at (701) 433-5500.