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Neb. Mayor Says Staged Robbery is Last for His Police, Citing Possible Dangers

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- Schuyler Mayor David Reinecke says a robbery staged last month as a training exercise for store employees is probably the last for his community police force.

The fake holdup included two out-of-uniform police officers posing as bandits who burst into the Gas'N Shop in Schuyler with guns drawn.

It was later learned that the guns were unloaded.

Kristine Johnson of South Sioux City was so upset by the incident she could not return to work and quit her job as manager of the store.

Johnson was among eleven Gas'N Shop managers and supervisors who were unknowing participants in the bogus holdup, organized as a training exercise by the Lincoln-based Gas 'N Shop convenience stores.

The company has directed questions regarding the incident to attorney Dorothy Bockoven. A telephone message left for Bockoven at company headquarters Thursday was not immediately returned.

The incident reported in Tuesday editions of The Omaha World-Herald raised concerns about someone inside the store or an armed passer-by shooting the "robbers" or attacking them with other weapons.

Reinecke says the danger-to-police issue surfaced among city officials after the incident.

"It was staged pretty good," he told the World-Herald. "I'm sure it looked like a robbery."

Shortly after the training episode, Schuyler officials received a letter of thanks from Gas'N Shop's corporate headquarters in Lincoln. Reinecke says the letter indicated the incident was excellent training and that store managers learned a lot.

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