Robbers targeting businesses on South Semoran Boulevard, police say

Local business owners beefing up security

ORLANDO, Fla. – It's a scene that is playing out over and over again for businesses along South Semoran Boulevard: Masked, armed men walking into a store and demanding money. 

Alex Haton owns a 7-Eleven in the area that was robbed on Nov. 14.

"Beefing up our staff. Adding extra people, plus we are not leaving any money in the drawers," Haton said of the extra security measures he's taking.

He said he's seen a recent uptick in robberies and crime is the worst it has been in the nine years he's owned the convenience store.

Angelica Walton, the manager at 7-Eleven along South Semoran, agreed that crime has gotten out of hand.

"They don't care who's here. They are going to grab whatever they can get. If it's not money they're going to get cigarettes. Anything they can get their hands on, that they can get away with, they're going to take it," Walton said.

According to Orlando police, five businesses along South Semoran have been robbed since Nov. 4.

They include three gas stations, a McDonald's and Dollar Tree.

The recent robberies Wednesday night involved three gas stations in the area.

"The Dollar Store got robbed a couple of weeks ago and now here. I live right across the street and this is probably the fifth time this place has been robbed since I have lived here and that's probably within the past three years,"  Mike Muroski said.

Muroski's neighborhood 7-Eleven along Dixie Belle Drive was part of the recent robbery. 

"They need to be caught. They need to be locked up. There's no ifs, ands, buts about it. Somebody is going to get hurt. I don't know if they realize what they're doing or what could happen to them but it's inevitable. Someone is going to get hurt," Muroski said.

Police don't believe the same person is robbing each business but they are investigating to see if there's any connection. 

Their presence is known along South Semoran and employees who work along the busy stretch of road are hoping more people will speak up. 

"I hope that whoever knows these people can just do the right thing and turn them in. Do what you have to do. Do the right thing," Walton said. 

If you have any information about the robberies call Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).