American Dream Tarnished For One Business Owner

By: Jenny Rabin
By: Jenny Rabin

Reno police say armed robberies always increase during the summer.

While many bars and shops have been robbed in the past few weeks, one Reno business owner has suffered more than any other.

Sammiruddin Masud moved from Bangladesh to the United States back in 1997, hoping to live the American dream. He worked as a taxi driver until he could save up enough money to open his own convenience store.

He realized that dream seven months ago but what's happened since has been a nightmare.

Masud opened the Liberty Market at the corner of 4th and Wells in January. Since then, he's been robbed five times - three times at gunpoint.

"Every month happening with the gun. People come to me and show me gun, target my head here and say open the register," Masud said.

Each time, the robber has stolen between three and four hundred dollars - that's all Masud makes in a day and money he says he needs to make the $1,700 monthly rent payment on the store.

Masud was a high school teacher in Bangladesh but moved here with his wife and three children to give them a better life. "I came to United States main goal - education for my kids," he said.

Reno police are well aware of Masud's plight.

They've caught the suspects in four of the five robberies and have a pretty good description of the latest robber. They've also given Masud some advice on how to better protect his store.

"Keep the windows open to the public view so people driving by can see inside the store instead of putting cigarette signs and big racks right
in front of the windows, lighting, video systems are a big deterrent," said Sgt. Doug McPartland.

Masud does have both a burglar alarm and a video surveillance system
but says neither of those items have stopped any of the robbers.

He says if criminals keep stealing his money and his merchandise, he won't be able to keep his doors open and his American dream alive.

"If continuing with this problem, I have to close my doors or go to
bankruptcy or back to my country," Masud said.

Reno police are asking for the public's help in finding the latest suspect in last week's armed robbery at the Liberty Market.

He is five-foot-nine and has a tattoo on his neck in green ink. He is
described as having short brown hair and clean shaven.

If you have any information, you can call the Reno Police Department at 334-COPS.


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