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Convenience store owner arms clerks after robbery

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: Jan 18 2013 10:31:44 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 22 2013 12:34:24 PM MST
Convenience store owner arms clerks after robbery
MISSOULA, Mont. -

Convenience store owner arms clerks after robbery

One convenience store owner is taking a new approach to protecting his employees. The owner of Jay's Mart in Missoula is now arming his employees and warning customers he's doing it.

Store owner Jesse Singh says after one of his employees was nearly killed on the job he had to make some changes in store policies.

Singh says he had to do something to protect his store clerks.  He says arming them for their own safety is the best option.

Friday a sign in the window says ‘store clerks are armed.’  Singh says he hopes this will discourage possible brutal beatings and violent robberies.

NBC Montana asked Singh what his clerks are armed with; he wouldn't specify, but he did say his employees would be taking classes on how to use their weapons.

We also asked how customers have been reacting to the sign on the door.

“They all respect the sign because they know what we went through and the situation that happened, so we had to be armed just to save ourselves,” said Singh. 

We posted this development on our Facebook page Friday evening and most people seemed to be in support of arming the employees.

When we visited Jay's Mart we asked customers what they thought of Singh's new policy.

Jay’s Mart customer Greg Smith said “I think when it comes down to it you're a business and the safety of your workers should be your number one priority and whatever measures you have to take to achieve that, go for it.”

Customer Martin Greye says Jay’s Mart is his favorite convenience store to shop at and he supports Singh’s new policy. 

“If things like this are going to happen, and Jay's has been robbed before, I mean maybe this wouldn't have happened if we had been arming our clerks earlier,” said GreyeThe final suspect in connection with the armed robbery that left victim Patrick Bendig beaten and bloody appeared in court today.

Tureadon Tibodeaux was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery and appeared in court Friday.  Store clerk Bendig was there for the appearance just as he was during appearances for other suspects.