Only on 3: Boutique owner believes same suspect robbed her again - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Only on 3: Boutique owner believes same suspect robbed her again

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A downtown boutique owner is reeling from a second robbery in a year's time.

The owner is glad she's alive to tell her story and why she believes the same bad guy came back for seconds.

"I try my best to welcome everybody.  Once you enter my door, you're my guest," says Vibhaben Persad.

Just after 1:30 Thursday afternoon, Persad heard the doorbell ring, alerting her some had come in Ciao Bella Boutique, it was trouble.

"I think I was going through my mail and I saw this guy with the mask walk in and thought, 'Oh, my God.  I'm dead today," she says.

The mask looked to be made from a T-shirt.  He approached her quickly.  Persad grabbed her tazer. A gift from her daughter after the shop was robbed last year.

"He just grabbed my hand like that, pushed me down here with his whole palm on my face," says Persad. "He said, 'Don't, I will smack you,' or, 'hurt you,' or something.  I can't really remember the exact words because I was at that time, very, very scared."

He demanded all the cash from the drawer and from under the register. He added, "like last year."

Ciao Bella was hit in July a year ago. There is surveillance video of that robber making his getaway on a bicycle. 

The masked man's comment leads Persad to believe the same man had struck again.  How else would he know about the extra cash?

Aside from a few bruises,Persad was unhurt  but she's making a few changes.  She'll keep her shop door locked, and hope her customers will knock, at least until the bad guy is off the street.

"I'm sorry for my customers, for any inconvenience, but I have to protect myself," she says.

Police are looking for a black man who is about 5'10" 190 pounds. 

They hope to have video from surrounding cameras available by Friday.

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