TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Cross Creek Mobil gas station in New Tampa was burglarized early Monday morning. The thief broke into the ATM and stole more than $20,000 from the store.
“When I saw this machine broken and as soon as I turned the alarm off, I look at this machine and I am out of the store. I was scared,” said Walid Aboroomi, store owner.
He’s scared of the bandit who broke into his store, broke into the cash register and took thousands in beer and cigarettes.
While Walid Aboroomi is upset someone stole from him, he said this crime stems from a different issue.
Late last night Aboroomi said he got a phone call and was threatened.
“It was an American accent. One hundred percent American. He said ‘F, Muslims I will get you and I will get your kids,’” said Aboroomi
Aboroomi got off the phone and the man called back.
“’Go back to your country,’ you know. I said ‘I believe in one God, my wife is Christian, she’s American and I love everybody’ and then he hung up.”
Aboroomi was scared and closed his store early and went home. Then, this morning, he went into his store and found a huge mess.
“It’s a hate crime. One hundred percent. It’s a hate crime,” he said.
Detectives say they’re looking into that possibility and also looking into the threatening phone calls. Meanwhile, Aboroomi is certain the person who threatened him on the phone is the same person who broke into his store.
“I have a Quran right here. It was moved from here and thrown on the floor. I put it back. He threw it on the floor? It was on the floor opened, wide open. I put it up there because I love it.”
Aboroomi said he tries to love everybody, but after the threat and the break-in, he’s had all he can take.
“I’m willing to sell the place for half price today. For my safety, that is the only thing,” he said.
Aboroomi is offering a $5,000 reward for anyone who has information that leads to an arrest.
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