Stoner's Novelty Store On Coldwater Not Accepting Cash Due To Robbery

By Laura Donaldson

August 24, 2010 Updated Aug 24, 2010 at 6:16 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – A Stoner's Novelty store is making dramatic changes following an armed robbery last week.

Stoner's Novelty Market off Coldwater Road will no longer accept cash. Instead, only checks, credit and debt cards can be used.

Owner Dick Stoner says he’s making the switch at this location to prevent armed robberies at this location.

On August 19th, Fort Wayne Police say a gunman tied up a female employee, took an undisclosed amount of cash and fled out the back door. The employee was not injured, but Stoner says he's had enough.

In 2008, Stoner’s another Stoner’s employee was robbed at gunpoint. Stoner says he may lose some customers because of the switch but safety is his main concern.

“I'd rather lose some business than lose somebody's life,” Stoner said. “But, I was considering closing the store or doing this and so I guess this is the alternative that we've selected. And I think, hopefully, we can keep the store and keep people happy. And we'll try to work with people as much as we can.”

Stoner says 70 percent of purchases are made with credit cards right now at his Coldwater and downtown locations.

The downtown location will continue to accept cash, credit and debit cards because there is more than one employee working at all hours Stoner says.

Stoner says he’s taken several security measures to prevent robberies since 2008, but it’s not preventing the situation.

“We didn't keep as much cash on hand,” Stoner said. “They got much less money than they did the first time. But that still doesn't prevent it from happening. So, I think being absolutely cashless is the way to go.”

Fort Wayne Police are still looking for the gunman who robbed Stoners on Thursday.

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