Gas station robberies set scary pattern

Published 5:05 am Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The proverbial lightning has struck, not twice, but three times at the BP University Mart on Liberty Avenue in Ironton, sending a clear message that something has to be done for the safety of the employees and the customers.

The convenience mart, located across from Ohio University Southern at the intersection with State Route 141, continues to be an easy target for criminals despite the fact that the Ironton Police Department has made an arrest in two of the three robberies that have occurred in the past month. Detectives say the individual who was arrested Monday is also a suspect in a robbery of the store that occurred last week.

But, for whatever reason, criminals seem to view this store as an easy target.

Although we appreciate the great work by the IPD and a few concerned citizens who helped make the two arrests — although these individuals remain innocent until proven guilty — it is clear that the store owners need to take this as a serious message.

There are likely a number of steps they can take that would either prevent these robberies from occurring altogether or at the very least discourage them.

A safety glass system like you see in banks and big-city convenience stores is one option. Better surveillance systems with more prominent signs could help. Keeping the store staffed with more employees could also be a good difference maker.

We know it is tougher than ever to operate a small business and any additional expenses can be hard to swallow.

However, the bottom line is that the safety of the store’s employees and its customers are something that cannot be given a price tag.