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Crime plagues Florence business owner

WCPO abc news
Friday, November 16, 2012
By: Jay Warren

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FLORENCE, Ky. - Fathiya Ali's tiny Florence store has been targeted by thieves twice in the past two weeks.

"It was on November 2 and they broke in the window, and after six days they broke the door," Ali said.
Ali, a native of Somalia, owns Tawakal Halal, a small specialty store featuring food, prayer rugs and clothing geared toward Northern Kentucky's Muslim community. Without any prior experience in the field, Ali opened the business a year ago.

"They took my new cash register which I ordered after they took the old cash register," Ali said.
The Florence Police Department says Ali isn't alone. Residential and commercial break-ins have peaked recently. Department numbers indicate that three quarters of these types of crimes are linked to the area's growing drug problem.

"We think it's heroin," Cpl. Jason Reed said. "That's the number one drug that our patrol officers as well as detectives are encountering."

Reed explains that many heroin users start off using prescription pills. However tight restrictions and a high price tag cause many users to switch from prescription drugs to heroin, which is a cheaper and more accessible option.

"I feel it's probably on the rise. We've had a lot of car break-ins, people using stolen credit cards and things of that nature," Reed said.

Meanwhile Ali isn't sure how she'll fix her front door. She says she doesn't have insurance because she has to invest her money into other parts of her business.
"Sometimes I'm worried about the rent and the electric," Ali said.

If you know anything about the burglaries at Tawakal Halal, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.


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