JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CBS Local) – A Florida 7-Eleven has come up with a novel way to deal with panhandlers and would-be thieves in their store: play opera music.
The Jacksonville convenience store has reportedly been blasting classical tunes for three weeks in the hopes of encouraging unwanted guests to leave the area. The idea was part of 7-Eleven’s non-confrontational approach to dealing with loiterers.READ MORE: 16-Year-Old Ahjaon Jackson Shot, Killed While Coming Home From Work With Twin Sister, Philadelphia Police Say
“We have received very positive feedback from our customers about the atmosphere created by the music devices piloted in several 7-Eleven stores across the U.S.,” 7-Eleven’s corporate office said in a statement obtained by WJAX.READ MORE: Two People, Including At Least 1 Firefighter, Injured In Crash In Philadelphia's West Oak Lane Neighborhood
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, there have been over two dozen assaults, burglaries, and thefts reported in the area around the store over the last month. The store owner accused local homeless people of regularly harassing customers and leaving trash in the store. Customers had mixed reactions to the opera strategy.
“Do they think the music will drive them away like the birds?” one customer asked reporters. “We’ll see. I don’t think it will work.”MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: Philadelphia Police To Provide Update On Anti-Violence Efforts
“Every time I come here I’m asked for money, so I would feel safer if it works,” Megan Young, who uses the store’s gas pumps, added.