Businesses suffer through string of robberies in Congress Heights

Surveillance video captured the latest robbery at a shoe store in Congress Heights. (Photo: Surveillance video)

Police are looking for suspects in a number of robberies in the Congress Heights neighborhood.

Sherita Hines, who owns city beats shoe store with her husband, was there with her son and daughter after closing Sunday night.

She let in a late customer she knew. With the customer, armed masked robbers slipped in, surveillance video shows.

"Not just frightened, I'm absolutely terrified at this point because it was a gun pointed to my head,” Hines said.

"They wanted more money and I couldn't produce it."

"They had a gun to her head. I was like ‘Don’t shoot.’ That's all I was saying, ‘don't shoot her’,” recalls Hines’ son Dimone Long.

Many stores in the area have been robbed at least once. A barbershop was robbed earlier this month. Last month, a manager of a nearby gas station was killed during a robbery.

Hines' husband Malcolm was not there because police found he had a shotgun in the store, which he says was for protection. But he's a convicted felon and is in jail.

Community activist Ron Moten says business owners should be allowed to keep weapons at their stores.

"I believe that citizens should have a right to protect their businesses, especially in an area where it seems as though nobody else can protect them," said Moten.

Hines acknowledges her husband should not have had a gun. She expresses frustration with her situation.

"My husband's locked up and everybody else is running free,” she said.