New Rochelle storeowners meet after violent robberies

New Rochelle business owners met Wednesday to discuss safety concerns in the wake of two violent store robberies.

The first robbery occurred last week at the Sonny Wholesale store on North Avenue. Two men stormed the business and beat the 61-year-old owner with a baseball bat, causing him to be hospitalized.

One of the suspects, Jack Benjamin, later turned himself in. The other suspect remains at large.

The second robbery occurred Tuesday at Wise Insurance Agency on Main Street. Three men tied up employees and robbed the store at gunpoint. No arrests have been made in that case.

Jim Killoran, who heads up the Westchester branch of Habitat for Humanity, is concerned about the rash of violent crime, especially with his office nearby.

"We have to change this now," Killoran says. "There is a very practical solution like putting up a police precinct on Main Street ? today. It is not impossible and can be here immediately to squelch the fear."

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