One gas station owner in Philly is so sick of the crime infesting the streets around his business - and the politicians in his blue city who aren't doing a thing about it - that he's hired a crew of armed men to patrol the area around his store and fend off would-be thieves.
Neil Patel, who manages a Karco gas station in North Philly, hired the team due to "mounting violence in and around the store," NBC Philadelphia reported.
"We are completely tired from this nuisance - stealing, robbery, ATM missing," Patel explained.
At one point, criminals slashed Patel's tires and cracked the windshield of his vehicle parked outside the store. Looters have trashed the inside of the shop, making off with armfuls of stolen loot and leaving merchandise littering the floor. Patel added that drug deals in the parking lot are common, and that police often don't respond to calls for help.
"Nobody feels safe. And we are completely losing a lot of customers," he said.
AS a last resort, Patel hired a private security detail armed with shotguns and kevlar vests.
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"What we have going on now in the city of Philadelphia is chaos," one of Patel's hired security guards told the news outlet. "The criminals have the keys to the city."
⚠️My story last night: this is what things have come to for one North Philly gas station…armed security guards in tactical gear to keep customers safe ⚠️@NBCPhiladelphia #Philadelphia #crime #news #report pic.twitter.com/h0Ij4Edt1u— Johnny Archer (@JohnnyNBC10) December 3, 2022
Patel said that since hiring the guards several weeks ago, his profits have increased and customers are returning to the store.
Customers who spoke with the news reporter - all of them black - said they feel safer with armed security standing outside the store while they pump gas and buy their items.
Violent crime in Philadelphia is up 7% over last year, as of the end of September, according to Axios. Robberies involving guns increased 60%, with commercial burglary spiking 50%.
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