Safe practices encouraged after Richmond store owner killed - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Safe practices encouraged after Richmond store owner killed

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Police continue their hunt for whoever shot and killed a convenience store owner in south Richmond. Mohammad Taib, 59, was gunned down inside his 756 Food Mart store on Erich Road near Midlothian Turnpike Saturday morning. Police are hoping surveillance video will get them closer to a suspect. 

Now, an area convenience store association is speaking out on how store employees can be safe on a dangerous job.

"Unfortunately when you have a situation like this, it certainly gets noticed by everyone," says Mike O'Connor with the Virginia Petroleum, Convenience, and Grocery Association.

"There are in Virginia 4,512 convenience stores that do 25 billion in transactions every year," he said.

O'Connor adds that with such high foot traffic in and out of stores, it's important for employees to practice precaution.

"Number one is access. Drop safes so that there is not ready access to cash.  In most cases, the cash is reduced to $35 or $50 and the opportunity is not there for someone thinking about committing a crime," he said.

O'Connor also encourages pay-at-the-pump options so there's less cash coming inside the store.

"Lighting to make sure the premises is adequately lighted and surveillance.  Are there cameras on the establishment?"

In this case, there were and that's what police are hoping will help point them to anyone who has information about the crime.

"It's a very tough situation during the holiday season," he said.

NBC 12 spoke with a convenience store owner just a few blocks down from Taib's store. He says he prayed with him on Thanksgiving eve. Neither knew a few days later Taib's family would be dealing with this. His funeral is set for Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. at the Islamic Center of Virginia. That's located at 1241 Buford Road in Richmond.

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