Authorities believe man robbed store twice in the same week

By: Hilary Magacs Email
By: Hilary Magacs Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Danny Patel was alone on Wednesday around 2 p.m. at Discount Tobacco on Tazewell Pike when a robber came in with a gun.

"Says give me all the money. Open the drawer and give it up. Tell us to lay down - lay down, don't get up or he'll come back. And he does come back - to make sure I don't get up. And then he runs away," said Patel.

He said the same man robbed him exactly a week before.

"We looked at the video - yes. His legs, his shoes, the style - the way he did it," said Patel.

Deputies agree. Surveillance cameras caught pictures of the suspect, who is described as a man between 35 and 40 years old who is 5'11-6'2" with dark hair.

Patel said he's terrified it will happen again and isn't sure he'll stay open.

"I have no idea so far - if these things go on and on, more than he's taking what you're making, so how are you going to pay the bills? How do you survive?" said Patel.

Patel said he's also worried customers will get scared and they'll stop coming in to his store.

It didn't seem to stop them on Thursday, although many customers are upset that the robber keeps targeting Patel's store.

"It's awful - very awful. Because you know, he's just out here trying to make a living, And like I said, he's a very - he's just a good person," said Kelly Haire.

"He's really loyal to his customers - so I really hope they find out who did it because he really needs justice," said Zachary Haire.

Patel is hopeful deputies will track him down, too - and said until they do, he'll feel uneasy working at the store.

If you have any information, you're asked to call the KCSO Major Crimes Unit at (865) 215-2243.

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