Three juvenile males were arrested Monday after a robbery at the Westgate Mall.
The suspects, ages 15-17, allegedly took a purse from a senior citizen by force and fled in a car. A Baxter police officer spotted the car and a short chase followed, ending on the 600 block of James Street with the Baxter Police Department and Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department assisting Brainerd police in the arrest.
The juveniles are also suspects in a similar incident Sunday at the East Brainerd Mall, said Sgt. Becky Putzke. A purse was also stolen, Putzke said, but it was taken when the victim's back was turned and is therefore not considered a robbery.
The investigation of both incidents is continuing, and more arrests are expected.
Putzke said such robberies are common nationally during the Christmas holiday season, but not in Brainerd.
"And with malls being crowded, it's more likely to happen," said Putzke.
Putzke said retail fraud -- such as bad checks, credit card fraud and shoplifting -- also increases during the holiday shopping season.
Common sense is the best way to prevent such crimes, Putzke said. She advised not having purses dangling on a strap, walking in pairs and being aware of your surroundings.
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