MILWAUKEE -- The so-called "Bloomer Bandits" have struck again!
FOX6 News has learned a violent robbery crew targeting Milwaukee businesses is accused of hitting up a grocery store. The store's owner said his employee took out a gun and fired several shots at the suspects.
The doors to Milwaukee's Big Mama Food Pantry near 27th and Melvina were closed Monday, January 30th.
The store's owner told FOX6 News by telephone he's too scared to return to work after what happened on Friday afternoon.
In broad daylight, Milwaukee police said the suspects entered the store just before 1:00 p.m. and flashed a gun at the clerk. The same group of people Milwaukee police have dubbed the "Bloomer Bandits," allegedly responsible for a string of armed robberies over the past two weeks, is believed responsible for this crime.
At Big Mama, police said the crooks demanded and obtained cash.
The store's owner said his employee had a gun and fired at the suspects. Sources told FOX6 News the suspects were not hit.
"The violence that they`ve used in these robberies has escalated," Reid Norris, FBI supervisory special agent said.
The "Bloomer Bandits" got their name because of the colorful underwear worn by one of the suspects.
The FBI is assisting Milwaukee police with this investigation.
On Friday, the owner of a salon told FOX6 News he panicked when two masked men stormed through the door, put a gun to his back and stole his wallet and cash.
"They put one of the guns in front of me, and they put me on the ground," the salon's owner said.
Meanwhile, at Big Mama, the owner said his surveillance cameras captured the suspects. The video has been turned over to police. There's hope the "bloomers" will soon be hung out to dry.
"Almost like the old Wild West, they are putting the bandanna up, busting through the front door, displaying handguns," Norris said.
The FBI is offering a reward for information leading to an arrest.