Eatery Owner Wants More Security at Night - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Eatery Owner Wants More Security at Night

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The owner of Portofino Italian Grill on Singer Island says he feels sort of isolated. There are only three businesses left at what used to be the Ocean Mall. Portofino, Subway, and a 7-11.

The Portofino owner worries all three are vulnerable to crime at night, because outdoor lighting is not adequate. Everything  else around the Portofino Italian Grill has been torn down, and the restaurant is surrounded by vacant lots, chain-link fences, piles of dirt and construction equipment. Portofino's owner says earlier this month, someone fired several gunshots that damaged his windows. And on January 8, a 7-11 next door to the Portofino was held up at gunpoint. He wants the landlord that he rents from, Catalfumo Construction, to provide a security guard at night.

If not, he worries that one of his customers might be attacked or robbed. "The customers are definitely not safe. Because some drug dealers are walking around here.  We have increased the calls to 911 asking for police to come. There are fights in the street, gangs hanging around," said Solomon Kedmi, Portofino owner. An official with Catalfumo told us by phone they feel Riviera Beach Police are doing a fine job and that no additional security is needed. They don't plan to hire a nighttime security guard, despite Kedmi's fears. Riviera Beach Police have already increased their patrols at night near the Ocean Mall construction site.  Police also sent Catalfumo a letter January 12, urging them to get more security there at night because of what police say is an increase in criminal activity.

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