WATCH: Philadelphia gas station owner hires armed security amid high crime

Richard Ross
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross speaks with members of the media at the scene of a shooting in the Ogontz section of Philadelphia, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke/AP

WATCH: Philadelphia gas station owner hires armed security amid high crime

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A North Philadelphia gas station owner has hired armed security to protect his business against rampant crime in the city.

Owner of Karco gas station Neil Patel enlisted the assistance of the Pennsylvania S.I.T.E Agents, a private security company that equips its professionals with kevlar vests and either AR-15s or shotguns.

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“They are forcing us to hire the security, high-level security, state level,” Patel explained. “We are tired of this nonsense; robbery, drug trafficking, hanging around, gangs.”

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According to the owner, he made the decision to hire security following a burglary where the establishment was vandalized and an ATM machine was stolen.

The agency’s Chief Andre Boyer said, “We wear Kevlar, we are trained, my guards go to training every other week, they’re proficient with [their guns] and with their taser, they know the law.”

The security company offers services such as a “Security Crisis prevention tactical Specialists patrol unit,” “Executive Protection Agents,” “EPS Transportation Services,” and “Private Investigations / fugitive recovery.”

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There have been 478 cases of homicide in Philadelphia year to date, per the Philadelphia Police Department. This is a 29% increase from the same date in 2007. The number of homicides jumped significantly between 2019 and 2020 continuing to grow in 2021. However, 2022 is on track to report fewer homicides than 2021, which boasted 562.

Incidents of burglary and other property crimes escalated by 5.7% between 2020 and 2021. Violent crime decreased by 2.1% during the same time frame. Notably, robbery with a gun increased by 28.4%, while most other categories of violent crime saw decreases.

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