Crooks Turn 'Dream' Into Nightmare

Is it a blatant attempt to run immigrant businesses out of town or a string of unlucky break-ins?

That dilemma is facing several Sudanese-owned businesses along North Saddle Creek Road.

And for some, the 'American Dream' is turning in to a nightmare.

Abdul Hamid manages Broadway Fashions on the corner of Saddle Creek Road and California St.

"I think there is something unusual, that is what we feel," he said.

His shop has experienced several break ins...that caused several thousands of dollars in damages.

"Broke in the windows, broke inside the store and this happens every three months," he said.

The urban clothing store is just one Sudanese business that has been targeted by crooks over the past few years.

"We don't feel safe," he said.

Abdul's cousin, Mohamad Gasim runs another store about a block further north.

He's had break ins as well, but the criminals are sometimes a little more daring.

"Some times, I'm busy by myself and they carry stuff out and run to them in the car," he said.

Mohamad said it's happened far too often to be coincidental.

"It has happened more than ten times for me," he said.

But the worst for Mohamad happened right outside his store in broad daylight. He just received a new shipment of clothes and was unloading them when thieves pulled up and emptied out his van. The crooks got away with more than $15,000 worth of merchandise.

"I don't know what is wrong," he said. "We are okay with everybody and we are doing our business. But I don't understand exactly."

Abdul lost 80 percent of his inventory in one break in and he can't understand why someone would target Sudanese businesses.

"You have a business and we go to school," Abdul said. "We want to have the 'American Dream,' but there's something that's trying to wipe our dreams out, we don't know."

Sudanese community leaders and business owners are formulating a plan of what needs to be done to insure the break ins stop.

They are asking for the Omaha community's helps as well.

Anyone with information on these break-ins and burglaries are asked to call Omaha Police.


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