Over the past few weeks, there has been a sudden spike in armed robberies around Fitchburg.

The Star reported on five robberies from Nov. 28 to Dec. 31: Three gas stations, one bank and one restaurant. Four of these crimes remain unsolved.

Lieutenant Edward Hartiwick told the Star the department typically sees a spike of robberies in November and December, with December typically being the month with the most robberies, which is on par with national trends. According to FBI crime data, burglaries, thefts and robberies increase during December nationwide.

Hartiwick believes the holiday season could be a correlation.

“If you look at the statistics over the past few years, without them (the robbers) saying so explicitly, I can’t say for certain, but anecdotally I’d say yes, there’s a connection with the holidays,” Hartwick said.

He said in most months, Fitchburg only has one robbery, on average, if any.

“To go from 1 to 4 robberies is kind of a jump,” he said. “But with the number of businesses located in Fitchburg, I wouldn’t say there are a lot of robberies overall.”

The robberies were: Stop-N-Go (2932 Fish Hatchery Road) Thursday, Nov. 28, Associated Bank (3002 Fish Hatchery Road) Monday, Dec. 9, Kelley Williamson Mobil (2956 Fish Hatchery Road) Monday, Dec. 16, Capitol Petro Mart (2770 S Syene Road) Saturday, Dec. 21 and Pancheros Mexican Grill (6309 Mckee Road) Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Hartiwick said Fitchburg police identified a suspect, Rondino S. Fleming Jr., 27, in the Associated Bank robbery and made a referral to Madison police, believing he also robbed a Dane County Credit Union on Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Madison police arrested Fleming in connection with the two crimes on Wednesday, Dec. 18, according to Channel3000.

According to the Fitchburg Police Department:

On Nov. 28, two robbers wearing masks entered the Stop-N-Go, pointed a handgun at an employee and demanded money. The suspects fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.

On Dec. 9, a single suspect, described as a light skinned black man in his late 20s to early 30s, approximately 5’5” tall, with a medium build, entered Associated Bank and made a demand for money from one of the tellers using an implied threat. After receiving money from the teller, he immediately fled from the bank on foot.

On Dec. 16, a suspect described as a man with a thin build entered the Kelley Williamson Mobil, shoved an employee to the ground, and stole an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing

On Dec. 21, two robbers wearing masks entered the Capitol Petro Mart, pointed handguns at an employee and demanded money. The suspects fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash.

On Dec. 31, a suspect described as an adult white male, approximately 5’10” tall, with a medium build, entered Pancheros restaurant and made a demand for money from one of the employees using an implied threat. After receiving money from the employee, he immediately fled from the restaurant on foot.

Neal Patten, community reporter, can be contacted at neal.patten@wcinet.com.