'You are helpless'; Lynchburg store robbed twice in one week

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7)-- Behind the counter at Sunrise Food Mart, one phrase keeps running through Adnan Rabbani's mind.

Adnan Rabbani was robbed at work twice in one week.

"Give it to me, whatever you have," the store clerk recounted. "I just open up my register, give it to him."

On the evening of Aug. 4, someone walked into the store, held up a weapon and demanded money. The man took off with all the cash in the register.

Rabbani did not call the police. Less than a week later, Rabbani was robbed again, and this time the robber was holding a knife on the counter.

"The second time, I'm totally messed up. I don't know how long I'm going to stay here. Must I leave? I have small kids," said Rabbani.
"Worried about it now."

Rabbani called police after the second robbery, this past Saturday. Officers responded to the market just after 10:30 p.m.

Surveillance photos show a man with a piece of clothing over his face. Police say he held a knife out, demanded cash and then walked off with another man.

"You are helpless in that time," said Rabbani.

Detectives with the LPD said they believe the two robberies are related; however they are investigating multiple suspects.

The Sunrise Food Mart is off Campbell Ave. According to the Nexis Community Crime map, the store is not in an area of high-density crime. Despite that, it is not the first time the store has been robbed. The owner told WDBJ7 someone robbed the store a year and a half ago.

"I won't say that it is particularly common. I think that corridor area has been more prone to some violent crime and robberies and things like that," said Sgt. Kevin Mitchell with the LPD. "That is one of our areas that we typically provide more patrols through."

Mitchell is investigating the robberies. He said it is not common to have two robberies in such a short period of time.

"We want folks to know that this is a very serious crime. It caries some very serious consequences when convicted and we want folks to know that this type of crime won't be tolerated in our city," said Mitchell.

Police are not adding increased patrols around the Sunrise Food Mart because they say it is a main corridor and they already patrol that area frequently.

Rabbani said he is taking extra precautions at work and he is not sure what to do next.

"My message to them, that kind of people, work hard for yourself. Don't do the short cut and don't play with somebody's life," said Rabbani.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900.

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