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At first glance, I attributed your article “Dollar Diplomacy” (11/19) to the perils of racial profiling and stupid business ethics of unprofessional entrepreneurs. However, as I continued to read the fine print, I could only think about how risky it is to have a business in the District of Columbia. Especially in this case, when it appears that the store owners are too cheap to get the right type of security. Relying on the “men in blue” is out of the question, and there is obviously no expectation that help is on the way or coming to the store anytime soon, unless bloodshed or mayoral re-election is on the table. (Oops, did I say that?)
These default entrepreneurs have broken too many rules in customer relations. Their assumption that they will make thieves go away by using words is like playing roulette—running the risk of aggravating criminals into taking their planned conduct to a more dangerous level.
It is time to stop using the guessing-game method of security and clean up the business. It is disturbing to hear about the mounting complaints about crime when business owners can at least reduce crime by taking time to clean up their act and show more pride in the physical appearance of their business. Business owners should wake up and face the music. It is important that they make security, cleanliness, and improving their attitudes toward the public’s top priorities. Any time the police won’t show up, that should give the public something to think about. A junky store, a small staff, no security, and poor management equals a magnet for trouble. In the case of the Dollar Plus Food Store, a crook has a huge chance of walking out with a piano on his back.