Storefront signs block view, allegedly help crime pursue - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Storefront signs block view, allegedly help crime pursue

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Alderman Anthony Beale and members of the Roseland Chamber of Commerce confronted a store manager about wall-to-wall advertising they claim provides a cover for drug dealing and prostitution.

"The first step is to take all the signage down," said Beale. "I agree with that," responded the Stop & Shop Manager.

The confrontation came minutes after Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy praised a new plan that will use signage restrictions as part of a crackdown on crime in a 20-block commercial strip of Roseland.

"Excessive signage creates conditions that force the crime, believe it or not, because the police driving past cannot see into those locations," said McCarthy.

Alderman Beale told FOX 32 News that according to city ordinances, signs like the ones at Stop & Shop can cover only 25 percent of a storefront.

"When you see a store like this, when you have illegal activity, somebody darts into one of these stores and says they're shopping there, the police can't see in and out, they can't see where that person went. And so we don't know what's going on inside there," said Beale.

However, employees inside these stores told FOX 32 News that they have never heard of such restrictions that Beale mentioned.

"If they want it out, we can take it out. If they don't want it, we can do it. We can do it right now," said Mohammed Shafiq, another manager of a business.

When the Stop & Shop Manager was asked if he had heard about the signs before, he replied, "No."

Although, he did admit that he had missed the administrative hearings regarding complaints about the store, but claimed to have had a good excuse.

"I should come, but my wife, she had the baby, that way, I can't come," said the Stop & Shop Manager.

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