String of robberies sparks concern for westside business owners

Last week, several businesses on the west side were broken in to and robbed.

Samoa News has been unable to confirm if any suspects have been identified.

Last Monday, thieves hit up the Tool Shop's Tafuna location.

According to a company official, the culprit or culprits took off with some cash, and nothing else.

Right down the road, Samoa Motors was also broken into. Samoa News understands that the robber or robbers took off with some electronic devices.

No injuries were reported from these two robberies.

However, a business owner down in the Leone area was not so fortunate. She was attacked and Samoa News witnessed severe bruising and swelling on her face as she entered a friend's store in Nuuuli to purchase goods for her business.

The victim, who declined to speak to Samoa News in fear that the person or persons may attack again, is an Asian female who has been operating a store in the territory for many years.

Samoa News sought comments from the business owner's friends — who own a store in the Nuuuli area.

According to them, the business owner claims that since the incident, she has not been able to sleep well at night. "She's very scared and frightened," Samoa News was told. "We told her to give up the money and she cried and said she can't, as she works hard for her money and she needs it in order to survive."

The thief is said to be a Samoan male, who tried to grab the cash box but ended up punching the business owner in the face, after she refused to give up the money.

A manager for one of the local businesses in the area, who didn't want to be identified, told Samoa News that the robberies are a result of people being "desperate" for money.

"The economic setback, the reduction in hours, the unemployment — all of these things could be blamed for the recent break-ins."

Another business owner blames the increase in the illegal drug trade.

"When people are on drugs, they need their fix," she said. "The only thing these addicts want is their drugs and they will stop at nothing to find money and things to sell, in order to feed their habit."

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