Both Harvard Market stores robbed during same evening

Joanna Dornfeld

Harvard Market and Harvard Market East were robbed Thursday evening in a half-hour span, the stores’ owner said.

The stores are located two blocks from each other on Washington Avenue Southeast. Harvard Market East was also robbed Feb. 23, and Minneapolis police are investigating a possible connection between the three robberies.

No arrests have been made.

“I’m very upset that this has happened,” store owner Brad Mateer said. “The store got robbed two blocks from a police department.”

According to the police report: A black male escaped with $200 in cash from Harvard Market, located on the 800 block of Washington Avenue Southeast.

The 5-foot-6 male with a slight build demanded money from the clerk in a note just after 11 p.m.

The suspect did not display a weapon but implied he might commit an act of violence, said Minneapolis police Lt. Larry Doyle.

“He didn’t refer to a gun, but he referred to a shooting if they didn’t comply,” Doyle said.

About a half hour later, a suspect with the same description robbed Harvard Market East on the 600 block of Washington Avenue Southeast, Mateer said.

A police report for the Harvard Market East robbery was not available Monday.

It is store policy for employees to give a robber what he or she asks for, Mateer said.

“The bottom line with this is that the employees were not hurt,” he said.

In the Feb. 23 Harvard Market East robbery, a 5-foot-5 black male escaped with $150, according to the police report. The suspect referred to a weapon in a demand note but did not show one to the clerk.

It is possible the two incidents are related, Doyle said.

Mateer said the suspect’s description and the nature of the robbery were similar in all three cases.

Prior to the first robbery, Harvard Market had not been robbed in six years.

With the help of University police, Minneapolis law enforcement officials are investigating the robberies.

“We’re still looking at the video tape and possible fingerprints on some stuff he might have touched,” Doyle said.

Joanna Dornfeld welcomes comments at [email protected]