ATLANTA — One community says a local gas station is littered with crime. From violence to prostitution to drugs, police are responding to the gas station on average every few days.
Now business owners are neighbors are coming together to try to close it.
The thought among a group of concerned neighbors and business owners is that getting a judge to agree to shut down the business will solve the crime problem.
But one woman is warning about the impact a shut down would have.
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There is no debate there is an issue at this Citgo on Martin Luther King Drive in Adamsville.
“We got prostitution going on, you’ve got stabbings, you’ve got people selling drugs,” business owner Ricky Brown said.
“It’s been a lot of shootings, a lot of things going on right here in this one little area,” neighbor Cynthia Douglas told Channel 2′s Candace McCowan.
In fact, Atlanta police have been called to the store 73 times between January and mid-July for everything from prostitution, to robbery, to drug possession.
Investigators are still looking for the suspect who shot two people at the store two weeks ago. But there is disagreement on how to solve the crime issue.
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The city of Atlanta along with a group of neighbors are taking the tenant and the landlord to court next week. They want the business shut down.
“The property is kind of being not maintained, that’s going to always get crime,” business owner Marcus Mitchell said.
“We’re just going to have to put the owners to the fire,” Brown said.
Douglas, who owns MeMezz next door to the Citgo, says there is a reason for all the crime.
“They closed Fulton Industrial down – all the gas stations, all the hotels – and it pushed everybody up here on our property,” she said.
If the Citgo is closed, she’s afraid of the impact it will have on her business.
“It’s going to affect my livelihood, it’s going to affect my business,” Douglas said.
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The tenant at Citgo has been hiring security over the past two weeks. Since then, Douglas says it’s helped.
She says there is a larger need that needs the attention of the city instead of closing this gas station.
“It’s just going to push people further up or further down,” she said. “These people are homeless, these people have addictions, they need to find another solution like helping these people get off the drugs instead of shutting the business down.”
“I’m willing to talk to them but it may be a little too late,” Brown said.
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