"Cash Mob" draws big crowd to support crime victims

3:37 PM, Feb 26, 2012   |    comments
  • The line was out the door at Sugar-Coated Radical for Sunday's "Cash Mob."
  • The owner of Banna's Grocery was shot and killed a few hours before the home invasion robbery in the same building.
  • The crowds inside Sugar-Coated Radical for Sunday's "Cash Mob."
  • Taria Camerino is the co-owner of Sugar-Coated Radical.
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ATLANTA -- The line was out the door for Atlanta's first "cash mob" on Sunday at Sugar-Coated Radical, a small candy shop in the Old Fourth Ward.

"I wanted to come, show my support, see if I could help keep the business here and keep it safe," said customer Barry Greene.

Customers turned out in big numbers to support the owners, after someone stole a week's worth of profits during a home invasion robbery early Thursday morning.

"It does feel supportive, and it's really helpful for us right now," said co-owner Taria Camerino.

Camerino, her partner and their two boys were asleep in their apartment above the shop when someone broke in through a window, demanded money and threatened the children.

"I was like, oh, my God, this is going to explode," Camerino said. "So I stood up and stood between him and the kids the whole time and kept redirecting his attention."

She brought him down to the candy shop, handed over hundreds of dollars, and he took off.

Hours earlier, in the same building, someone shot and killed the owner of the Banna Grocery, a convenience store.

"I haven't had any time to process anything because we had to start working," Camerino said. 

Customers bought up everything inside the shop, while friends began a cleanup project outside.

They're planning a community garden in the vacant lot beside the building.

"Helping clean up is giving back to the community," said Angel Poventud. "It's easy to say, 'Hey, let's not go there, again. It's dangerous.' Or we can say, 'Hey, what can we do to make it better?'"

At this point, Atlanta Police have not made any arrests, but they are investigating whether there's a connection between the robbery and the convenience store murder hours earlier.

They released surveillance video on Friday, and Crime Stoppers Atlanta (404-577-8477) is offering a reward.


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