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Indian-American wants cops to step up action after robberies in store

New York, Jan 10 (IANS) An Indian-origin convenience store owner in the US state of Ohio has called for increased police action with robbers frequently targeting his shop despite a robust security system put up by him.

Rakesh “Rocky” Patel has been selling beer, wine, and groceries at City Foods on East 12th Street and Chester Avenue in Cleveland since 2018, the WEWS-TV channel reported.

Patel, who claims to have spent thousands of dollars to protect his store — from cameras to door locks, said one more security option could put him out of business.

In one of the surveillance videos from December, seen by the news channel, a man is seen grabbing alcohol from a top shelf. An employee is thrown to the floor while trying to keep him from getting away with the bottles.

“Before they used to cover their face and come, and now they don’t even have fear… It happened like three weeks in a row — one week continuously, like every day,” Patel said.

“I’m working hard, paying taxes, and I feel sorry that I’m working hard. I work double so I can help college and everything for my son,” he told the TV channel.

Patel, who has had to rearrange store shelves and put the expensive stuff higher up, thinks it’s the same two or three people who have been at it. “They were grabbing like four or five — those are like $40 bottles,” the store owner said, adding that he cannot afford to hire a security or off-duty police officer as the “cost goes so high I can’t even stay in business”.

According to the police, the theft investigations are very active and the area is under special attention until arrests are made. But Patel, who is also worried about his employees, wants more police patrols at night when the crimes are mostly happening.

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