Employees and owners of convenience stores in Meriden are worried about a string of recent robberies and now, they are looking for ways to protect themselves.
On Monday, a man wearing a mask robbed the Premium Mini Mart on West Main Street at gunpoint about 9 p.m. The clerk working at the time did not think the man was serious and even recognized the suspect.
"He told me, 'Give me the money in the register,'" said store manager Javid Nasirov. "I was in shock, surprised."
Nasirov said the man visits the store several times a week.
"I was trying to grab the gun," he said.
However, another masked man entered the store and Nasirov was forced to give them the money.
Police arrested two men after one of them dropped some dollar bills outside of the store. K-9s tracked the men to a house on South Third Street where they were arrested. One of them even had a scrape from climbing a fence.
After the robbery, Nasirov said he will lock his doors more often and install security cameras.
In June, store clerk Ibrahim Ghazal was killed after handing over money during a robbery of his convenience store. Ghazal gave the suspect $40 before he was shot.
Police have since arrested and charged Frankie Resto with Ghazal's murder.
"People don't care anymore," said John Valdez of Meriden. "It's getting bad over here."
The Valero Gas Station on East Main Street was robbed 24 hours before the Premium Mini Mart.
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