Gas station owner plans more security after robbery
Security cameras captured armed robbers who threatened a gas station employee, but only made off with candy.
The robbery happened around 5 a.m. Saturday at the Citgo gas station at 42nd Street and Mitthoeffer Road. One robbery banged his gun on the cashier's window after realizing he wasn't going to get the store's money.
Security cameras recorded the entire crime.
Owner Tahir Kahn believes his cashier feared for his life. Kahn had already given employees strict instructions about staying safe.
"Life is more important, so we have told them not to even come out, outside the cage at all, whatsoever, and that's how bad it is. Not to even come outside," Kahn said.
When Kahn purchased the gas station he had doubts he would ever make a profit, but decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, he has had to take several steps to increase profits, like adding an off-duty police officer or sheriff's deputy on site for security.
In Saturday's robbery, the video also shows the second robber making a beeline for the cashier's booth door. But the door has some of the best locks in the business. Unless the cashier lets you in, it is almost impossible to break in. When the robber pulled out his gun and pointed it demanding money through the bulletproof window, the clerk dropped to the floor, hid under the counter and called 911.
Customer Jason Hagy sees the crime as symptom of the much bigger problem.
"There are a lot of felons, okay, because they can't afford a lot. They can't get a job, so when they can't get a job and nobody is supporting them, what do they do? They rob, they steal, they sell drugs," Hagy said.
Kahn's store is in the middle of one of the city's Zip Code Hot Spots - 46235. Metro police have dedicated resources to hot spots which experience a higher crime rate than other zip codes. These are also the areas where police need more people to help by when they "See Something, Say Something."
The convenience store owner hopes his security measures, like a posted warning sign, will keep the criminals at bay and convince paying customers that he's looking out for their safety.@Kahn has installed more cameras outside and inside to help customers feel safe. He also plans to add more lighting under the gas pump canopy.
Although the robbers covered their faces, IMPD detectives hope someone recognizes their clothing or even their gestures.
Kahn says this is not the first time his store has been a target.
"The first time it happened, it happened twice in a week," Kahn said.
Now, although it may be an inconvenience for some of his customers, Kahn has asked the pay phone vendor to remove the two pay phones from his store. Kahn suspects the phones are being used to facilitate drug deals, adding yet another danger to his business.
After spending thousands of dollars on off-duty officers working security at the store, Kahn may have no choice but to do it again, in order to keep the criminals at bay and his employees and customers as safe as possible.
In the meantime, he hopes to see more police cruisers in the area to also help keep crime and theft of his merchandise to a minimum.