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By Theresa Goodwin

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The owner of the Friars Hill Road branch of John’s Delicious Pizza said he is grateful that his life and the lives of his employees were spared after two gunmen stormed the restaurant Saturday night and made off the day’s earnings and other items belonging a female employee.

Aojen Betar, otherwise known as John, said he is also extremely saddened and distraught having spent thousands of dollars out of pocket to open the new branch over a month ago and the earnings thus far have not been enough to cover rent, obligation to staff and other expenses.

“Thank God nobody got hurt. We lost the money but we are okay; I am home with my family,” he said.

John recalled that the incident occurred shortly before 8  on Saturday night.

“Two masked men, both of them had guns, entered the restaurant from the front door. One of them pointed a gun at the cashier while the other went with a bag to get the money from the register. They also went into the kitchen where one of my workers were cutting something with a knife. They took him outside where the others were and took all their money, phones and other items and ran,” he recounted.

He explained that the entire ordeal occurred so fast and while he knew a number of police officers nervousness took over for a brief moment. The police were eventually called and an official report was filed.

The well-known business man said the only thing he can do at this point is install security cameras which may provide some sort of comfort and assistance. He said while hiring security personnel would be ideal, he has to balance his finances to ensure he is able to take care of his staff.

Having resided in Antigua and Barbuda for over 17 years, he said he was shocked at what is currently happening, noting that he has contributed a lot to the society.