Spike in armed robberies at stores, restaurants across Cleveland raise concerns among city leaders

Posted at 11:32 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-20 12:02:05-05

Yet another armed robbery struck the Cleveland Subway restaurant at 16122 Lakeshore Boulevard, according to city leaders, it's the fourth time that location has been victimized in nine months.

Cleveland Councilman Michael Polensek reported his Collinwood neighborhood has been hit especially hard by the recent spike in armed robberies.

Polensek told News 5 armed robberies at stores and restaurant chains have become such a problem, a group of four council members held a meeting with representatives from Family Dollar store, at the beginning of the month.

Polensek said major corporations have to do more to improve security.

"It's a toxic recipe, and the criminals know it, so they just go shopping," said Polensek.

"I can show you stores that have been robbed on the east side 5 and 6 times, it's insanity."

Polensek said Family Dollar agreed to improve lighting, and security cameras at its Cleveland locations, but refused to add security guards as a standard at its stores.

"They did not make that commitment on any location as to have a physical security guard there," said Polensek. 

'We'd love to see that happen of course, but there is no requirement."

Polensek said other major companies need to look at their security policies.

Tim Dimoff, President of SACS Investigative and Consulting Services, told News 5 major corporations like Subway and Family Dollar can make security improvements by keeping front windows free of numerous advertisements and promotions.

Dimoff said limiting cash in registers would also make a difference, along with posting signs that there is limited cash on hand.

Better lighting, security cameras, and store security guards  are also critical.

Dimoff said they are security measures that would pay dividends to the companies involved.

"They can decrease their insurance costs, they can have a safer place, and they can have a better reputation," said Dimoff.

"So it does come back to corporations."

Subway corporate headquarters couldn't get specific, but responded to our story, and the recent armed robberies, with the following statement:

"The safety and security of our guests and the restaurant employees is very important to us. Subway makes safety and security training available for franchisees to use."