FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A Fort Wayne convenience store clerk said working on the job alone can be dangerous. He has had a gun pointed at him during an armed robbery, but calls the crimes all part of the job.
Suspects robbed the Burger Dairy II convenience store on St. Joe Blvd. four times in 2012. Someone targeted it again on Thursday.
Vaqar Mallha has been a clerk at the Burger Dairy II for a couple years. He said he had a gun pointed at him during a robbery in November of 2012. The same thing happened to Mallha’s co-worker on Thursday.
When asked why he continues to work at the convenience store, Mallha said he and other clerks can’t afford to quit.
“Everybody worries about the violence. But we don’t have a choice. Where do we go?” Mallha asked. “We have to work."
Mallha thinks his convenience store is frequently targeted because of its location and hours.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports convenience stores can be susceptible to robberies because of late hours and a small amount of employees working.
While Fort Wayne police say convenience stores provide a unique safety challenge, good suspect descriptions can help solve convenience store robberies.
“We respond rather quickly to those situations so if you can give us a good description, a good direction of travel, and speak intelligibly about that, then we can work from that and we will search for that and a lot of times based on that initial information we are extremely successful,” said Michael Joyner, public information officer with FWPD.
OSHA recommends the following procedures to keep convenience stores safe:
- Improve visibility by providing adequate lighting and installing mirrors; keep signs and shelves low
- Install drop safes and signs that indicate little cash is kept on-hand
- Maintain video surveillance
- Provide silent and personal alarms
- Establish emergency procedures including communications systems, training and education.
- Restrict customer access by reducing store hours and closing portions of a store
- Take precautions when going to remote, isolated spots such as garbage areas and outdoor freezers
- Lock doors not in use
- Increase staffing during high-risk periods
- Install bullet-resistant enclosures
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