Local News

24-Hour Shopping Dangerous for Store Owners, Shoppers

Posted September 23, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— The shooting of two bail bondsmen and a bystander at a convenience store came within days of another shooting inside a Raleigh convenience store. 24-hour shopping has made life convenient for customers, but it has also made easy targets for robbers.

One customer's nightmare was caught on video when he left a zip mart at 2:30 a.m. As he walked out the door, two men with a gun attacked him, took his jewelry and his cash, then shot him in the leg.

Watch a QuickTime video of the robbery on a store surveillance camera.

Police say criminals often target convenience stores. Despite that, a lot of people shop there at night.

Since January, there have been 28 convenience store robberies in Raleigh, up 4 from this same time last year.

"To tell you the truth as far as I am concerned this is the most dangerous job aside from being a policeman," said Frank Maldini, convenience store manager.

Maldini has been robbed twice at gun point. After the incidents, he boosted security at the store. Now, there are always two people on duty, and two surveillance cameras record everything.

Police also said that lights play a big part in keeping criminals away.

"Criminals do like that cover of darkness that makes them feel more powerful and more in control," said Sgt. Brenda Elmore, Crime Prevention.

Elmore said the best thing customers or workers can do is pay attention to what's going on around them.

Police said the way to ensure safety is to do all shopping during daylight hours.