Is String Of Hold-Ups In Community Coincidental?

CLEVELAND – Just days after a convenience store clerk was shot and killed in a robbery attempt at West 89th Street and Madison Avenue, other store workers and customers in that area admit that they're afraid, 19/43 News' Ed Gallek reported.

They're afraid because the shooting of John Yahya was just the latest in a string of convenience store hold-ups. The robbers are armed and dangerous, and not afraid to kill.

Twice last week, masked robbers went into Suleyman's Market with guns, and terrorized workers and customers. One customer said that he thought he was going to die for sure.

"Three times he pointed the gun at me," the customer said. "He pointed the gun at me, went past me, told me not to be a hero and made me put my hands on the counter.

"I'm afraid to be here, that's true."

"Sam" was helping out at the store when he had a gun place to his side and at his head.

"I was nervous," Sam said. "I was going to hit him, but I don't have a gun. I'm visiting here, and he caught me right here."

That incident took place just days before Yahya hesitated handing over money and was shot to death. Police are wondering if there's a connection between the crimes.

A clerk at a store at West 50th Street and Detroit Avenue told police that a masked robber recently hit his establishment.

Another clerk said that the same thing happened near West 84th Street and Detroit Avenue.

And yet another clerk said that two robbers without masks hit his place at West 59th Street and Detroit Avenue.

Suleyman's has now hired armed guards, and Sam said he feels lucky that he survived when he got held up, but is still in constant fear.

Homicide detectives are still trying to figure out if there's a connection between all the hold-ups and the murder of John Yahya, but as of yet, there are no suspects.