Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Legit Biz or Not So Secret High-dout?

By Lauren Gard
Tue, May 1, 2007 at 4:54 PM

Fans of B-Town Dollars & More, a dollar store in West Berkeley, may soon have to go somewhere else to, uh, serve their customers, or buy their junk. Police alleged at a Zoning Adjustment Board meeting Thursday that the shop is ground zero for drug dealer activity in the area, reported today's Daily Cal. But does the fact that police have had "at least 55 encounters" with drug dealers inside or outside the store since 2003 make it a public nuisance? Do allegations that, as one officer stated, people fleeing from cops run into B-Town to stash their drugs and hide out in back rooms?

Owners Nayef and Fatima Ayesh told the board that they'd been trying their darndest to keep the bad guys out. "As God as my witness, I always try to keep those people away from my store," Fatima Ayesh said at the meeting last week. "Nobody is hiding in my store."

The matter now goes to the Berkeley City Council, which will have three months to make the call. A suggestion to all you drug dealers out there: why not pool your resources and buy your own damn dollar store in Berkeley? For a mere $165,000 or so, you can own a "Huge Store With Tremendous Potential," complete with eight parking spaces for customers. Just think of the possibilities!

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