Businesses on edge after recent crimes

Burglaries, car theft worries business owners

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Business owners in Brentwood are dealing with rattled nerves after an employee was killed on the job at the Metro PCS store. Channel 4 spoke with business owners Monday and they said, from car theft to assault, crime is taking over their area.

Over the last 90 days, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Crime Map reveals more than 400 crimes have been reported within one mile of the store where 20-year-old store clerk, Shelby Farah, was killed Saturday night.

"I'm surprised with all the new businesses moving here that this stuff would happen right here," said owner of VIP Auto Sales, Omid Saleh. "I'm trying to run an honest business and make money and people do this to you. It's messed up."

Saleh told Channel 4 that he's also a victim of the crime in the area. Saleh said he's out more than $5,000 after thieves used a screwdriver to break the ignition and steering column on three different cars in his lot.  Saleh said the crooks only got away with one car, but he's fearful they'll be back for more.

"Yeah, it pissed me off because these cars, I've got to fix them up, and I had to pay $250 to get that car out of the junk yard and he damaged it," said Saleh.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Crime Mapping tool, 426 crimes, ranging from assault to vehicle theft, have been reported within a mile of the businesses, and 100 of those reported were larcenies and robberies. The troubling numbers, Saleh said, has him looking over his shoulder. 

"Hopefully he'll get caught, I don't want this happening to anyone else," said Saleh. "We're just people trying to make honest money and this is just not right." 

Anyone with information about these robberies is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.  

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