'We have little kids, and it's not right': Old Brooklyn store robberies have residents in fear

Posted at 11:22 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 08:01:53-04

A series of convenience store armed robberies have some residents in Cleveland's Old Brooklyn neighborhood living on edge, and city leaders searching for answers.

Cleveland's second district police headquarters reportedgunmen robbed the Old Brooklyn Food Mart on Pearl Road on July 15, C's Beverage and Deli on Broadview Road, on July 9, and Westside Beverage on State Road on July 5.

Old Brooklyn resident Maribel Santiago told News 5 she's living in fear, after her neighborhood store was robbed in broad daylight. 

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"They had no care, they didn't care, Santiago said. 

"What's going to happen, a couple of dollars is not going to give you nothing."

"I think the cops and the city, somebody has to get involved, because this is getting bad, and it's dangerous. We have little kids, and it's not right."

Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek, who is also Vice Chairman of Cleveland's Safety Committee, said a greater police presence is needed, but said a shortage of police officers will continue through the remainder of 2018, due to poor city planning.

"They're backed up on the police classes, on the hiring classes," Polensek said.

"That's going to be a continuing issue throughout the summer," he said.

That's why I have repeatedly asked that we work with outside agencies, such as the Ohio Highway Patrol, and the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office."

Polensek said store owners can take steps to deter armed robberies with better store lighting, and clearing the clutter from storefront windows.

"They love stuff being all over the windows, so nobody can see in," Polensek explained. 

"Especially so police officers, or outside individuals cannot see inside the store."

"Neighborhoods that are the safest in this city are when people are engaged, looking out for one another."

Meanwhile, If anyone recognizes the suspects in the store surveillance pictures, they are being asked to contact Cleveland Patrolman Frank Ambrose at 216-623-5218.