CLEARFIELD, Utah — Police are searching for suspects believed to be involved in several armed robberies in Clearfield and Layton.
According to Layon police, three businesses — two 7-Eleven stores and Smokeys — were targeted on Thursday night into Friday morning last week. In those incidents, the suspects with baseball bats did not assault store employees. Investigators say they did not get away with a significant amount of money.
Then on Saturday evening, a smoke shop named Cloud X was robbed. In that incident, the clerk was attacked with a baseball bat.
“My first reaction was to see what I could do to defend myself,” said Nathaniel Rupert, who has worked at Cloud X for more than two years. “I just reacted and grabbed the man and tossed him into my shelves. While him and I were going at it, his other friend actually hit me with a bat — hit me like four times, three times — I have a few bruises, but I got hit a lot of times.”
Surveillance cameras captured images of the suspects. Police believe the same individuals may be involved in the crimes.
“Anytime somebody goes in and threatens a store employee with physical violence, that sets up a confrontation that could really turn serious,” said Lt. Travis Lyman with the Layton Police Department.
The suspects are believed to be in their early 20s, less than 6’ tall, weigh between 140-180 pounds, and traveling in a dark-colored passenger car.
Rupert says he was back at work the day after the attack, despite having several bruises on his back and hip.
“I feel bad for what my bosses lost. I can take a hit, that’s OK. It's just $800, man,” he said.
While law enforcement recommends complying with the demands of the robbers in incidents like this to avoid injury, Rupert wishes he had done more to prevent the suspects from getting away.
He hopes other store clerks in the area remain on alert with these suspects on the loose.
“This has happened, and people have discovered they can get away with it, so try to stay protected in any way possible. I don't care if you have a lightsaber, figure it out,” Rupert said.
Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to contact police in Layton or Clearfield.