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School and charity groups working fireworks stands take extra precautions after string of robberies

7.3 suspect fireworks robbery.JPG
Posted at 7:18 AM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-04 02:48:12-04

UPDATE 11P.M. : While a lot of places in the valley are busy gearing up for the Fourth of July, it's a never-ending stream of customers at fireworks stands.

People of all ages are looking for some holiday sparkle right up to the last minute.

"It's like the Christmas Eve of the summer season!"

That’s how Clark High School Band parent Robert Hebert describes the rush to buy fireworks right before the holiday. And just like they try to spoil any other holiday; thieves are trying to spoil this one for schools and charities who depend on firework stand fundraisers.

"We are here all night overnight and that’s just it,” Hebert said. “Vegas is a 24-hour city so, yes we will have people coming by here at midnight, two o’clock and four o’clock in the morning buying fireworks and we're happy to help."

While the group does feel a bit anxious after the robberies reported late Tuesday night at two different Las Vegas fireworks stands; Hebert said they’ve been in the same spot for at least 10 years with no problems.

“Of course, we all know its despicable and I certainly hope that they catch perpetrator,” said Hebert. "But I feel safe enough here there's enough police presence they patrol through here from time to time."

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Las Vegas police are looking for 2 men who robbed two fireworks stands late Tuesday night.

Police say the first one was reported at 10:35 p.m. It happened near Charleston and Rainbow boulevards and the 2nd robbery was reported at 11:19.

In both cases, 2 men with a gun approached employees at the stands and demanded money. Both men are described as Hispanic, between the ages of 20 and 25 and medium to heavy build. One suspect is said to have numerous facial piercings.

Officers released a sketch of one of the suspects today.

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The men are using two different vehicles. One vehicle is a silver 4-door sedan with black rims, sunroof and rear spoiler. The other vehicle is a dark gray SUV.

Two armed robbers threatened Duane Washum and another volunteer last night at this fireworks stand on Charleston and Rainbow. "Next thing I knew one was holding a weapon close to his chest and he said open your cash box."

That money was supposed to go to charity with Living Grace Foursquare Church. But the crooks took the cash and drove off.

In an amazing show of grace, Washum says, "To the men who did this last night, we forgive them and we have prayed for them and pray that they receive Jesus Christ."

The thieves then robbed another charity fireworks stand down the street on Charleston and Durango. That's where Amy Ramos and her family volunteers with the Knights of Columbus and Columbian Squires. "A little on edge and I have a 16-year-old and I don't want him to be here with another adult and that's why my husband and I are here."

They are now being more careful and vigilant.

"We're just making sure we don't have a lot of cash on hand. Most of our sales are credit card sales," says Ramos.

Las Vegas police sent out these safety tips after the robberies.