In recent months, there have been quite a few robberies at mini marts and other locations in our area. There also have been a lot of arrests.

Suspected robbers of Fegley's in Tamaqua, Redner's in Nesquehoning, Turkey Hill in Hometown, and the Convenient Food Mart in Palmerton have all been arrested by local police.

There are a few outstanding robberies where arrests are pending, and hopefully the perpetrators in those cowardly deeds will also be brought to justice.

The fact that so many arrests have occurred speaks highly of our local police departments, as well as the citizens of the region who are willing to get involved and help police solve the cases.

Now it is up to our judicial system to make sure that those arrested, if found guilty, pay for their crimes. Unfortunately, it's too often that during the latter step the convicted are afforded too much leniency.

Defense lawyers make the defendants look a lot tamer than they are, and the sentences meted to such robbers don't take into account the psychological damages they inflict when they threaten a helpless store clerk with a weapon, or the seriousness and potential deadliness of their antics.

The victims of these robberies are individuals trying to make an honest living; working difficult hours at low wages to make their lives better.

The robbers, on the other hand, are taking short cuts and care little about working for a living. They don't care whose lives they destroy while on their mission to get money what they feel is the easy way. They are careless with deadly weapons. Fortunately, no serious injuries have occurred in any of the robberies.

The work of local police departments, including inter-municipalities combining efforts, has been great at apprehending the thieves. The cops are to be commended for their efforts and successes.

Just this weekend, another armed robbery, whereby a hand gun was used to hold up female cashiers, occurred at a mini mart in Lansford. Hopefully the individual who committed the act is also brought to justice.

And finally, we have to appeal to citizens to stand brave and get involved when either witnessing or obtaining information about such occurrences. It's up to all of us to put the punks who break the law in their proper place – which is behind bars.

By Ron Gower

rgower@tnonline.com