Mustang News file photo

The happiest city in America has become a scary place for some business owners after a rise in robberies in San Luis Obispo.

According to the San Luis Obispo Police Department (SLOPD), nine local businesses were robbed between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, with all but two of these involving a firearm. Eight of these robberies occurred since June 26.

“This has occurred frequently in our community as well as our surrounding communities,” Operations Police Captain Keith Storton said. “So it is concerning.”

The novelty ice cream sandwich store Batch was robbed by a man with a firearm on Nov. 9 and is the most recent of the incidents. Although no one was hurt, the store manager quit after the incident.

SLOPD officers and officials from departments across the county are working to determine if these crimes are related.

The department has released a description of a suspect who is a white male, 6 feet 2 inches tall, in his 30s to 40s with short black hair. Storton said that authorities have reason to believe the suspect is not acting alone.

Many other business were also robbed, including Mr. Pickles’ Sandwich Shop, The Frog and Peach Pub, Bed Bath & Beyond and Cork ‘n’ Bottle Liquor Store & Deli. In early November, $2,500 of alcohol was stolen from BevMo!.

Storton reminded business owners to comply with any requests in the event of a robbery, saying that it is not worth the risk to resist.

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