Armed robbers target 3 New Orleans businesses

Armed robbers target 3 New Orleans businesses

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "I'm so sad. I'm so angry. I don't know what to do," business owner Abbas Ali said.

The owner of 24/7 Discount in the 1600 block of Tulane Avenue got a call Thursday around 3:30 a.m.

"My cashier told me that he'd been robbed. I said, call the police," Ali said.

Sixteen surveillance cameras surround the gas station and captured video of the entire incident.

"A vehicle came into the station. They parked and a lady came into the store. She came in and used the bathroom. She went out and a gentleman came out of the vehicle and into the store. He robbed our guy at gunpoint," Ali said.

Police said the robber first asked for a cigarette and then pulled out  gun.

"The unfortunate thing is, this is the second time this happened to us within the past 10 days," Ali said.

A week and a half ago, surveillance cameras were rolling when a man lunged over the counter, pushed the cashier and stole money from the register.

"He told the cashier he needed the money," Ali said.

Ali wasn't the only business owner affected by crime in the past 24 hours. On Wednesday just after 6 p.m., two men robbed Payless in the 3100 block of Gentilly Boulevard. Ten minutes later, police were called to the Boost Mobile on St. Claude Avenue, where surveillance cameras showed the suspect entering the store with his face covered. A customer was inside discussing a phone purchase when the gunman simply walked behind the counter and demanded  money.

"The cameras aren't helping us," Ali said. "If they aren't going to keep these people out, they are not going to help."

Ali doesn't believe his cameras are a deterrent anymore, and he's ready to take it a step further by installing bulletproof glass around the cashier.

"It's bulletproof," he said. "I cannot afford this anymore. This time we were lucky. Maybe next time they are gong to hurt one of my employees, and I cannot afford that."

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