'I'm at a loss': Brussels grocer hit by third armed robbery in four months

'I'm at a loss': Brussels grocer hit by third armed robbery in four months
Hit by a third armed-robbery in four months, a Brussels grocer said he is baffled as police have not been able to identify the suspects who he believes are always the same. Credit: Google Street View

The owner of a Louis Delhaize shop in Brussels has been hit by a third armed robbery in four months and has admitted to being baffled as the assailants, who he suspects are always the same, appear to have yet again eluded the police, according to reports on Thursday.

"I am at a loss, I have lost half my clientele," owner Amir Ali Zohrevand said, adding that after the last time his shop on the Quai des Péniches was robbed on June 29, he came to believe the robbers had managed to learn his routine.

"The last time, they were even waiting for me from behind a wall. They clearly knew my rituals," Zohrevand told Bruzz.

Despite the fact that his shop is equipped with surveillance cameras and located at the floor level of a residential tower in Tour & Taxis, Zohrevand, who is forced to close down shop after each theft, said police had not yet been able to identify the burglars.

"I have 12 cameras in my shop and yet each time the police say they cannot do anything," he said. "The last time they even said that my store is in a bad location — but how is that possible, right next to the UP-Site residential tower?"

The same robbers

During the last robbery, the grocer said that the thieves, three masked and armed men, appeared at around 7:10 AM and proceeded to beat him before taking the contents of the cash register and emptying the cigarette and alcohol counters.

The shop had already been robbed before on two separate occasions — both in the same month: one on March 7 and the other on the 24th, the public prosecutor confirmed to Bruzz.

"They arrive with weapons and large knives and I am beaten every time," the shop owner said, adding that he believed it was always the same robbers who kept targetting his shop.

"They know how to quickly work [their way around] here," he told the Dutch-speaking news site. "In the second robbery, my brother was present and we both got beaten — I remember those faces."

A spokesperson for the Bruxelles-Ixelles police zone confirmed the robberies to Bruzz and said that the surveillance footage would be studied.

The public prosecutor in Brussels is also looking into the thefts and attempting to identify the suspects, according to spokesperson Stephanie Lagasse who was nevertheless unable to confirm whether there was any connection between the three robberies.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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