Berclair store owner feels his business is being targeted by thieves

MEmphis, Tennessee — A Berclair store owner says thieves and vandals are ruining his business after multiple car break-ins and thefts in the area.

The owner of the Jerusalem market told WREG last month that he and his customers had to suffer multiple injuries from vandals.

Surveillance video from the store captured the latest suspect casually walking through the parking lot on Summer Avenue in broad daylight when the person noticed the car was still moving and crouched before getting in and driving away.

“One of my customers came over to park and buy something, and it took less than a minute. A man looked like he was looking at the parking lot, and you saw him on the camera that opened the car,” said Ismal Odtara, owner of the Jerusalem market. Odetallah) said.

In just one month, Odetallah said, his business was broken into along with other shops in the square, and the cars of at least three of his customers were stolen or vandalized.

“My shop has been open for fifteen years. This is the first time we have had this problem,” he added. “It’s been getting wilder over the past month. People here don’t care.”

Odetallah, who proudly sells Mediterranean goods, says many of his customers are immigrants.

On Saturday, the two women’s cars were broken into by thieves who stole more than $1,700, but Odetellah said the most valuable was the stolen passports.

“With no ID, no driver’s license, the girl lost her passport and this guy lost his passport, it’s a real headache,” he added. “The lady, she’s from Palestine, so how will she get that piece of paper back?”

WREG Crime has mapped the area and found that MPD has responded to more than 30 incidents in shopping malls this year. Odetallah worries that the number will hurt his business.

“It’s going to be affected because people are going to be afraid to come here,” Odetara said.

We reached out to MPD to find out if there are plans to increase patrols in the area. Police have not released any suspect information. If you know anything, please contact Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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