Businesses in Roxborough dealing with young people harassing employees and customers

Many shops are taking steps that will actually hurt their businesses for the sake of protecting their employees and customers.

Walter Perez Image
Monday, October 3, 2022
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There is no shortage of businesses along Ridge Avenue in Roxborough with similar stories about young people behaving badly.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There is no shortage of businesses along Ridge Avenue in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia with similar stories about young people behaving badly.

Michael Carr, the owner of Roma's Pizza on Ridge Avenue, says it's usually a group.

"Calling us names, calling my employees names, and then threatening to steal our products and stuff like that," Carr said.

Fawad Khan, manager of the 7-Eleven on Ridge Avenue, says this behavior goes beyond stealing a little food and soda.

"One person will be buying one Slurpee," he says, "and the next thing you know there's four or five Slurpees on the floor just to make a mess."

So now, many of these local shops are taking steps that will actually hurt their businesses for the sake of protecting their employees and customers.

For example, Carr actually locks the entrance to his pizzeria between 2:45 and 3:45, Monday through Friday, right when school lets out at Roxborough High.

"You can still order, but if you want to order just call us over the phone," Carr said. "If you're going to come and pick it up just knock on the door and we can let you in. Or just call and say you are outside and we will bring your order out."

The folks at the 7-Eleven are installing a hi-tech version of the same concept.

"We actually requested that we're going to install remote locks on the doors," Khan said. "So, that way when they're trying to come in, we can just lock the door completely for about an hour or 45 minutes."

At the Yiro Yiro restaurant, teenagers can't come in at all without a parent or guardian.

The restaurant manager, Jillian Stanish, says it's a shame because it's not a true reflection of Roxborough High's student body.

"A couple of bad kids ruined it for everyone this year," she says, "So we're not allowing them back in without a parent or guardian. But for the most part, the kids who do come in are very respectful."

Several of the business owners who decided to shut down their shops while Roxborough High School lets out say they will keep the policy in place through the winter recess, and then reassess the situation when the new year rolls around.