Las Vegas Sun

March 20, 2019

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Convenience stores are safe, police say

Despite the recent rash of high-profile convenience store robberies, Metro Police say it's not likely to happen while you're in one.

Metro's statistics show that one of every 10 1/2 robberies occurs at a convenience store.

Nearly one a day -- or 360 convenience store robberies -- occurred last year at the 200-plus convenience stores in Metro's jurisdiction. A total of 3,794 robberies occurred within Metro's jurisdiction in 1995 and 3,796 in 1996, Lt. Wayne Peterson said.

There are 300 to 400 convenience stores throughout the valley, many of which do not fall within Metro's jurisdiction.

Peterson is confident that area convenience stores are safe for customers, even though a woman and her unborn baby boy were shot to death on Valentine's Day and a store clerk fatally shot a robbery suspect Friday.

"The chances of customers being robbed while in a convenience store are minute," he said.

A clerk at the Park Convenience Store and Deli at 4646 Swenson St. fired two fatal rounds at a would-be robber Friday night when the man jumped the counter after asking for cigarettes, police said. The clerk, in turn, grabbed a gun from behind the counter and killed the man.

Sarah Keyenejad, 19, was shot to death at 12:48 a.m. Feb. 14 by two men dressed in women's clothing who had robbed the 7-Eleven at 3501 E. Bonanza Road. Keyenejad was six months pregnant and the bullet also struck and killed her unborn baby.

If suspects are caught, the case will be prosecuted as a double murder because the coroner determined that the baby could have lived outside the mother's womb had it not been shot, authorities said.

There have been a spattering of other potentially dangerous incidents at convenience stores in the valley. Most are caught on surveillance cameras.

On Jan. 3, a convenience store clerk got the upper hand when a would-be robber set his rifle on the counter. The videotape shows a rifle-toting man walking into the store near Rancho Drive and Charleston Boulevard. The bandit demands money from the clerk and then sets his rifle on the counter.

The clerk grabs the rifle and chases the man out of the store. A suspect has not yet been arrested.

Southland Corp., which owns 7-Eleven convenience stores, says there has been a 64 percent drop in robbery incidents throughout the country since 1976, when a robber deterrent program was implemented, said spokeswoman Solveig Thorsrud.

Southland Corp. has offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of suspects in the Valentine's Day incident.

The suspects left the area in a dark-colored sedan. Police impounded a car from a nearby apartment complex but later determined that it was probably not used in the crime.