Business neighbors react to armed robbery at restaurant

By Jola Szubielski - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (NBC12) - A crime alert out of Richmond's northside.

A restaurant employee was leaving work when two suspects approached him.

One aimed a rifle at the victim and demanded his day's earnings.

Nearby businessowners, say they worry about the dangers of leaving their own stores at closing time.

"It puts you on alert for sure," said barber shop employee Garry Holmes. "You got a lot of small businesses, barber shops, beauticians, once that starts, it could happen again."

And to any of these store employees at any time.

It's a concern that's always on the minds of workers on this commercial strip of Brookland Park Blvd.

And hearing that one of their neighbors, an employee at the Chinatown Express restaurant, was robbed at gunpoint is a reminder of the dangers faced at closing time.

"A lot of times we do come out with money in our pockets, it's a nervous situation," said Holmes.

"It's scary to think you work all day, someone comes in and threatens your legitimate income, its kind of like what's happening," said S&J Gallery of Hair owner Moses Singleton.

Police say the man was leaving the restaurant around 1:30 Saturday morning when he was approached by two suspects with a rifle.

They demanded money.

The victim complied and the suspects got away with an undetermined amount of cash.

"This guy coming out by himself, its almost like he was an easy victim for them I guess, I'm sorry that happened to him though, he seemed like a nice guy," said Singleton.

The man was not injured in the incident, but store employees say it could have turned out very differently.

That's why they each have their own line of defense.

Several businesses have surveillance cameras and many say they always work with at least one other employee.

"I have good customers, some wait around for me, we walk out together," said Holmes. "If I happen to walk out by myself, I'll go out front and look first before I go out with my hands full just as a precaution."

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