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DURHAM, N.C. -- Some Durham store owners are partnering with the city, police and each other to battle against armed robberies at convenience stores, according to a report by WRAL.com.
Hellen Kariuki is one storeowner working with others in the business to fight a crime that has left four convenience store workers dead over the past two years.
"We are hoping for a safer working environment," said Kariuki, whose Lighthouse Food Mart has been robbed in the past.
Kariuki hopes the city can provide grant money for bulletproofing their stores and wants increased patrols at convenience stores during closing time, when most robberies occur.
Storeowners are compiling a database of suspects arrested in convenience store crimes. They want to follow up on court dates and put pressure on district attorneys to ensure suspects are prosecuted.
Officers are pitching robbery prevention workshops to help out shop owners. Durham police point out, for example, that most convenience stores have signs plastered all over the windows, making it tough to see inside and making it easier for robbers to commit their crimes. The group has already set three crime prevention workshops in June and July.
Additionally, state representative Deborah Ross of Raleigh, N.C., has proposed a bill that would revoke the alcohol license of a store aware of criminal activity on the premises and is allowing criminal activity – such as drug dealings – to continue without stepping in to stop it, according to Wilmington, N.C.-based WECT Channel 6.