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Central West End attack leaves businesses with mixed feelings

10:52 PM, Feb 5, 2013   |    comments
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ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - After a rash of attacks in the Central West End, business owners are considering new security measures.

There are mixed feelings in the neighborhood. Some residents are a little on edge, and businesses in this area are keeping their eyes peeled for any suspicious activity.

A 23 year old woman was attacked in the Central West End. She was walking on the sidewalk when a man came up behind her wrapped his arm around her neck threw her to the ground, demanding her belongings. She screamed and he ran off.

This time it happened at 8pm.

"I am surprised that it's 8 o'clock in the evening so we are taking extra precautions here," says Dennis Gorg, owner of Coffee Cartel in the CWE, who says he's not surprised that the incident happened.

As it is, as soon as you walk in the door at Coffee Cartel you are being watched. Gorg says they have about 20 cameras inside the shop and the employees keep watch on the outside.

"It's someone looking suspicious or someone looking or someone loitering in the neighborhood," says Gorg about when they call police.

He notifies his employees of the attacks with postings reminding them to stay safe, now at all hours of the day.

As for his customers, he says yes, his business is impacted.

"We see customers talking about it, seeing customers being concerned so it's not that the customers aren't coming down, it's that they are hearing about this type of crime and are aware and maybe they are not staying as late," says Gorg.

Across the street at the Drunken Fish, General Manager Phil Le says their January sales were through the roof.

"There's not a high rate of fear," says Le.

For that he thanks the consistency of the police.

"Almost every 15 minutes, you will see a police officer on a bike," says Le.

"I see a lot of patrol and I see police as we are talking now and I've seen several cops riding by and cameras in the area so I believe police area really doing their job," says Keith Jackson, a patron of the CWE.

Coffee Cartel employees actually walk customers to their cars if they are feeling uncomfortable.

Police says as a reminder if you see something suspicious call police.

If you know anything about these incidents call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.


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