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Residents Asking Raleigh City Council To Close Store

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RALEIGH, N.C. — People who live near the Variety Pic-Up store on New Bern Avenue in Raleigh claim it is suspiciously busy in the middle of the night.

Neighborhood activists showed a videotape detailing some of the activity at the store to the Raleigh City Council Tuesday and asked them to shut down the Variety Pic-Up store.

"Why would there be such a crowd at that store at that time of the morning, people with no bags, not buying gas, reaching up their pants leg. What's going on?" resident Octavia Rainey said.

According to residents, Raleigh police responded to 493 calls at the store between January and June of 2002. The store has also been busted hundreds of times for alcohol violations.

The new owners say there has not been any serious trouble at the store since they took over in March, but they admit they inherited some old problems. They said they often call the police themselves to deal with customers causing problems, sometimes three or four times a day.

"We've been here since March and nothing's really happened. We're really working on it. Nothing happens outside. We're fixing to hire an off-duty cop," store owner Wally Fox said.

Residents said they have asked the ABC Commission for years not to renew the store's liquor license. Now they say there is only one way to solve the problem.

"I would like the city to look at it as a nuisance and shut it down," one neighborhood resident said.

Raleigh's city attorney is looking into the number of police calls to the convenience store and will make a report to the City Council.


Stephanie Hawco, Reporter
Terry Cantrell, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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