A pair of masked suspects wielding an ax, a long kitchen knife and pepper spray robbed a supermarket of some NIS 2,000 ($592) early Friday morning in the Tel Aviv suburb of Holon.
Security cameras at City Market caught the two suspects entering the store, threatening the owner behind the counter and ordering the man to empty the entire cash register.
One of the suspects held the ax up in the air with one hand and pointed a small container of pepper spray at the store owner with the other. His partner, who was wielding a long knife, watched the door as the shopkeeper emptied the cash register. The incident lasted less than a minute, after which the robbers fled the store.
The suspects remained at large as of early Friday evening.
The shop’s owner Oren Gal told Channel 12 that his stores have repeatedly been robbed of as much as NIS 10,000 in the past and that on one occasion, thieves also stole thousands of shekels worth of cigarettes.
“I instruct my employees not to resist when such robberies are taking place — to give money and cigarettes, whatever they want in order for the ordeal to end as soon as possible,” he said.
Gal said that because his shop is open 24/7, it is more prone to robbery than others, so he tends to empty the register more frequently.
Gal said that police had arrived at the scene shortly after the Friday pre-dawn incident and that an investigation had been opened. However, he was not optimistic that those responsible would be caught or that he would be compensated for the money stolen.
“I do not think the police will really do anything about it. We need to just accept this decree,” he said. “There are places where people pay ‘protection’ [a fee taken by criminal gangs to ensure a business isn’t harmed]; for me in Holon, I pay in robberies.”