A gas station owner in North Philadelphia has reached his limit with the out-of-control violent crime in his Pennsylvania city and hired a team of armed guards to patrol and defend his business from criminals.
Neil Patel hired a private security company, Pennsylvania State Agents, to patrol his KARCO gas station at Broad and Clearfield streets.
Patel has a daily armed presence and at least two armed agents on the premise nightly.
He said crime targeting his customers, his store, and his employees was so rampant he had to take this extraordinary step.
Patel said there was a shooting at the gas station on Easter Sunday.
People are also shoplifting and selling drugs daily, and an ATM was stolen several weeks ago.
A North Philly owner says he’s had enough violent crime at his gas station so he’s hired these guys to protect his customers and store.
Does this make you feel safer? Or uncomfortable. pic.twitter.com/ZOXvUxTvyW
— Jason Martinez (@JasonFox29) December 6, 2022
However. he says the cops are slow to respond so he’s had to take matters into his own hands.
“Selling their drugs openly,” Patel said.
“Cops here, they don’t do anything.
“Robberies, stealings, vandalizing my car.
“They are forcing us to hire the security, high-level security, state level.
“We are tired of this nonsense: robbery, drug trafficking, hanging around, gangs,” he added.
Patel said crime at his business has stopped since he hired armed guards.
Andre Boyer of Pennsylvania State Agents said his company is providing a service for people who feel they can’t get help from the police.
“We’re Pennsylvania State Agents and we’re not security,” Boyer said.
“Basically, what we do is security details when the public calls upon us when the police can’t be there.”
“The first week there was tension from the public seeing someone with an AR shotgun walking around.”
Boyer said some people are confused by their presence and often ask them questions such as: “Why are you here?” and “Are we in Beirut?”
Customer Jack Rock welcomed their presence:
“I have my license to carry, I’m always ready to go for myself, so it’s like whatever,” said Rock.
“It’s nice and safe for me.
“I get my juice, go to my car without somebody else jumping in it.”
Philadelphia gas station owner Neil Patel says he’s had his business robbed, his car vandalized, and an ATM stolen. He’s fed up with incessant crime threatening his employees and his customers, so he has hired heavily armed guards to protect his business. https://t.co/3jGZ8lrbAM
— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) December 6, 2022