Local gas station clerks concerned about safety - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local gas station clerks concerned about safety

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On average more than 60,000 convenience store clerks are victims of violent robberies each year in the US. It's a risk local workers say they try their best to prepare for.

Channel 3 spoke to a dozen local gas station clerks who were too afraid to go on camera. All but a couple had been held up before and all of them have a plan for if they're robbed in the future.

News has spread quickly about the murder of a Dalton gas station employee.

"I'm saddened thinking about his family and how that could've been me," former gas station clerk Jennifer Medford.

Jennifer Medford worked the overnight shift at a Rossville gas station for two years.

"You're by yourself and if your door dinger is broken, you don't know if there's somebody in the store. you don't know if they're going to hurt you," Medford said.

Now she has a different job where she feels safer, but she's still shaken every time she sees a violent gas station robbery on the news. Surveillance cameras almost always capture them. These brazen criminals are also a concern for North Georgia mom and gas station clerk Tessa Mize.

"It's pretty scary. I have two kids at home," Tessa Mize said.

She's just thankful she doesn't work overnights and has not been held up. She does have a taser and has taken self defense classes. She says she's not afraid to fight a robber to keep herself safe. Last November a pregnant clerk in Ringgold did just that.

"When he grabbed them I just swung. His face hit the counter, he hit the floor," she told Channel 3.

The Bureau of Crime Statistics reports an average of 63,000+ gas station clerks fall victim to violent robberies each year (2004-2008). The Department of Justice did a study a few years ago on the top factors that entice convenient store thieves. It reports they're more likely to rob stores open in the wee hours of the morning, small stores with easy to navigate layouts and those with the fewest employees on shift.

The cashiers Channel 3 spoke with say the overnight shift is when they feel most at risk, although some of them have been held up in broad daylight.

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