By Steve Patterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — “It was very very scary.”

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For this network of Hispanic corner store grocery owners – it’s terrifying.

Nine shops all robbed at gunpoint in one North Philly Police district.

“Oh I was so worried about it, because it’s about they life,” Elizabeth Alvraz says.

Police say the robberies started on November 15 and haven’t stopped.

Six of the incidents were caught on camera showing very similar crimes: two hooded- masked men, with guns drawn, demanding cash and items.

The crooks have gotten away with everything from $80 and a pack of smokes, to nearly $1,600.

In one of the robberies the men stole a pair of guns.

Police fear the robbers are getting more violent.

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“In the beginning they seemed more calm, more reserved. As the robberies have been going on, they’re getting more aggressive,” says Captain Frank Banford.

Banford says detectives are working to solve the case quickly.

Thursday night he says a store owner was pistol-whipped and hospitalized.

“This can only get worse. It’s not going to get better,” Banford adds.

So far there’s very little in a way of suspect descriptions, or even how many crooks are involved.

The owners we spoke to say, whoever it is, stop before more people get hurt.

“They need to get a job and go to work and stop robbing people,” Alvraz says.

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