BILLINGS — The Holiday Stationstores in Billings have been seemingly targeted in a series of armed robberies, with the most recent reported early Wednesday morning.
Since December of 2021, the store at Eighth Street West and Grand Avenue has reported eight armed robberies, according to the Billings Police Department. Holiday operates 11 stores in Billings.
Billings police also say that prior to the December robbery, the store hadn't been robbed since 2018.
No other store in the city has been targeted this many times in a 10-month time frame, according to Billings police.
Tanya Ludwig worked at the Holiday on Eighth and Grand in Billings from 2000-2002. She explains that she never saw anything like what is happening now.
“The crimes are getting out of control here," said Ludwig, who is a trustee for Billings School District 2. “The worst thing I had when I was working there was a beer run.”
Thankfully, a Good Samaritan stopped the thief, and Ludwig was able to recover the majority of the beer, minus some that shattered.
When asked about what tips she could offer to Holiday cashiers, Ludwig says, “To protect yourself at a gas station, make sure you’re dropping your money continuously. Make sure you don’t have the money in your cash registers, they see a lot of the money in there. At night, make sure you have enough change to last until the morning."
Ludwig is now a parent to a young daughter, and worries about her safety every day after losing her 22-year-old son in 2020.
The Billings Police Department is investigating the robberies, and Lt. Matt Lennick says they believe they are connected to one another.
While they work on their investigation, Ludwig pleads with those considering planning a crime.
"Think of who you’re robbing. You’re not only robbing an employee, but this employee’s going to go through PTSD from these robberies, it’s going to affect their families, I want you guys to think about this,” Ludwig says. “You’re destroying others, as well as yourself. Please stop.”