CRIME

Businesses suffer through string of robberies in Congress Heights

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Police are looking for suspects in a number of robberies in the Congress Heights neighborhood.

Surveillance video captured the latest robbery at a shoe store in Congress Heights. (Photo: Surveillance video)

Sherita Hines, who owns city beats shoe store with her husband, was there with her son and daughter after closing Sunday night.

She let in a late customer she knew. With the customer, armed masked robbers slipped in, surveillance video shows.

"Not just frightened, I'm absolutely terrified at this point because it was a gun pointed to my head,” Hines said.

"They wanted more money and I couldn't produce it."

"They had a gun to her head. I was like ‘Don’t shoot.’ That's all I was saying, ‘don't shoot her’,” recalls Hines’ son Dimone Long.

Many stores in the area have been robbed at least once. A barbershop was robbed earlier this month. Last month, a manager of a nearby gas station was killed during a robbery.

Hines' husband Malcolm was not there because police found he had a shotgun in the store, which he says was for protection. But he's a convicted felon and is in jail.

Community activist Ron Moten says business owners should be allowed to keep weapons at their stores.

"I believe that citizens should have a right to protect their businesses, especially in an area where it seems as though nobody else can protect them," said Moten.

Hines acknowledges her husband should not have had a gun. She expresses frustration with her situation.

"My husband's locked up and everybody else is running free,” she said.

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