Steven Depolo- Flickr/Yahoo! 7 News
‘Statement: Because the 14-18 year old black always steal. Prohibit 14-18 year-old blacks and dogs into the the shop.’
This was the sign stuck on the door of a minimarket in Melbourne, Australia. The shopkeeper told 7 News that he put the sign up because he was sick of groups of teenagers coming into his store after playing football to steal snacks.
The same thing happened again recently, taking the total number of incidents of theft to 20 in two years. Footage from the security cameras show the group of boys entering the store and filling their pockets with snacks, ignoring the shopkeeper’s protests. The shopkeeper even comes out after them with a golf club, but the teens menace him and get away with their stolen snacks.
The owner, originally from China, said he hadn’t expected such a negative online reaction to his sign. Many commentators have accused the sign of constituting a racist ‘hate crime’. Victoria Police has said that it ‘does not support the language of the poster and deems the message as inappropriate’. Faced with such a negative backlash, the shopkeeper has taken the sign down.
The frustrated owner didn’t know how to stop the wave of thefts… but now he is facing an even more damaging wave of criticism for his racist sign.