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Yarn, thrift store employees in Evanston threatened by gunman demanding money

Evanston police released surveillance footage of a suspect in two robbery incidents that happened Monday in the north suburb. | Evanston police

An investigation is underway after two retail shops reported being targeted for robberies by a man armed with a gun Monday in north suburban Evanston.

At 4:34 p.m., officers were sent to Close Knit, 1630 Orrington Ave., for a report of an attempted armed robbery, Evanston police said.

A 52-year-old woman reported that a man in his 50s entered the store, showed what appeared to be a handgun in his waistband and said “open the cash register or I’ll shoot,” police said. The woman, an employee of the store, did not comply with his demand and yelled until he left the store.

About 10 minutes later, officers were sent to Thrift House, 920 Chicago Ave., after an armed robbery occurred, police said. A 47-year-old woman told investigators a male entered the store, showed a handgun in his waistband and demanded money.

The woman, an employee, gave the man about $330 in cash and he ran off, police said.

Police believe the same man was responsible for both incidents and released surveillance footage from the one of the incidents to help identify him.

Anyone with information was asked to call police at (847) 866-5040.