Convenience store robbed five times in six months

After being in business for nearly 30 years, C&E Market has never been robbed this many times in such a short amount of time.

A Wexford County business owner is fed up after thieves hit his convenience store for the fifth time since March.

After being in business for nearly 30 years, C&E Market has never been robbed this many times in such a short amount of time.

â??Very depressing and very emotional for my help and myself,â?? said owner Chuck Helmka.

The damage has since been cleaned up in the store. Surveillance video shows a man using a hammer to break into the store on West Division Road early Monday morning. The man was inside for just one minute and stole cigarettes.

â??Very frustrating because we try to make a safe and happy environment for our help and our customers and when things happen in the neighborhood it's pretty depressing and shocking for a lot of people that they would deface property just for a few dollars.â??

The armed robbery from earlier this summer is just one of five robberies at the store since March.

â??I'm losing sleepâ?¦ especially with the armed robberies so we put in a $3,300 camera system. We also put in extra lighting on the building so it brightens up the place. Due to the fact weâ??reâ?¦ outside of town it kinda makes us vulnerable.â??

Suspects from three of the five robberies have been arrested but the other two remain unsolved.

â??Currently there are several leads that we're following up on. Really good leads have been developed through the community. Troopers are out there right now along with the detectives knocking on those doors and talking with those folks,â?? said Sgt. Scott Bates from the Michigan State Police.

Luckily no one has been hurt in the robberies but Helmka wants this all to stop.

â??That's what I've been losing sleep over. How can we deter thingsâ?¦ I know that the armed robbery woke a lot of the community because it's a small community and I know a lot of business people and they just wonderedâ?¦ what they can do differently to protect their assets and their property.â??

Helmka says the most recent robbery has cost him well over four hundred dollars to replace the merchandise and repair the door.

C&E Market has been equipped with cameras for 15 years and even with a closed circuit television in plain sight at the front door, thieves continue to target the store.

If you know anything about the robberies you're being asked to call police.