'I've had eggs thrown at me and €1,700 stolen in one day' - The life of a city centre shop owner
A shop owner based in Dublin city centre had €1,700 stolen by a brazen thief and claims his store is robbed on an "almost daily basis".
Amjad Malik, owner of supermarket Star Asia on Parnell Street, was about to pay his food supplier when a young thug came in and took the cash from his hands.
The incident happened over a year ago but Mr Malik said thefts have become "increasingly common".
His store has been open for six years and he fears the situation is going to get worse as "these gangs of youths have no fear because they're never reprimanded".
Sometimes teenagers throw stuff at customers from the street and on a few occasions, Mr Malik has been egged.
"It happens almost every day...morning time, lunchtime and evening time. They put stuff in their bags and if they don't take anything, they'll just come in and throw things around the store," he told Independent.ie.
"Mostly they come in in groups. They are usually teenagers but sometimes they're younger. One time I was giving money to my supplier and one guy came in and took €1,700. We gave the CCTV to the police but I haven't heard anything back."
The incident is still under investigation.
While Mr Malik has CCTV installed, he cannot afford to pay for security staff.
"It's very hard to run a business like this. We have to be alert all the time. Security is very expensive and there's not a big margin there, we simply don't have the money for it."
Many shop owners in the same area have similar problems.
Siraj Mohammad has worked at Smart Deals on Talbot Street for eight years and is constantly dealing with thugs who come in and steal from the shop.
Smart Deals sells a number of electrical appliances and just last week, a gang of youths came in and took items from the shop window.
"They took about €55 worth of stuff...it's happening all the time and nothing gets done about it. They are practically laughing at us," Siraj said.
Independent.ie previously revealed how a number of teenagers who were accused of stealing from shops in Dublin city centre issued solicitors letters to shop owners threatening to sue for defamation.
- Read more: Exclusive: Teens accused of stealing chocolate from Dublin shops threaten to sue store owners for defamation
Salem Habeeb, owner of XL Stop & Shop on Parnell Street, said "it's ridiculous" how teenagers that terrorise his store can then turn around and threaten legal action.
"Kids come in and take stuff in front of me and they say, 'You can't touch us'. I threaten to ring the guards and they say, 'The guards can't do anything, I'm only 17'".
Dublin city councillor Nial Ring has received a number of complaints from shop owners in his constituency and said gardai are "doing their best" to try and combat the issue.
"We all emphasise that any business is trying to survive and it’s bad enough with everything going on without having this additional burden. It often affects their insurance, but gardai are working hard and are keeping on top of it," Cllr Ring said.