HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Dollar stores in Central Pennsylvania are being targeted in violent robberies.
A sign on the door of the Family Dollar store on Cameron Street in Harrisburg includes a photo of a man in a dark hoodie as he pulled a knife on employees and demanded cash. Residents say it’s a sign of the times.
Similar incidents were reported at a Dollar General store in Swatara Township last week and another Dollar General in Lemoyne a few months ago.
Christian Corbin of Harrisburg says poverty is the root of the issue.
“If someone is robbing the store at knifepoint, where you have to go to that limit to feed yourself, there is obviously something wrong in the community. There is something wrong businesswise and money-wise in the city,” he said. “The city is getting crazy. Everyone needs to chill out”.
“Everyone is out shopping, getting ready. During Christmas time, the world speeds up” Harrisburg resident Jerry Mitchell said. “With the world speeding up, it speeds up in other places, too. People are scrounging for money. People find an opportunity to jump out rob, steal and mug”.
While ABC27 crews were at the Harrisburg store, they witnessed a possible attempted theft.
“I was at the register with the lady and the alarm went off, and some guy with scruff on his face said, ‘Oh, sorry about that’ and pulled something out of his pocket,” Jashay Nelson said. “The lady working was like, you know, you can’t come here anymore, right?”
A nearby auto shop is concerned.
“I’m just surprised,” Auto Sales Genuine employee Wilfredo Gigante said. “I’m worried about my job right now if they come and rob us, you know?”
We reached out to Family Dollar to see if the company has any plans to prevent future robberies but did not hear back. Family Dollar is offering a cash reward for anyone with information that leads to an arrest.