A Melbourne, Australia, convenience store owner is facing social media outrage after putting up a sign banning black 14- to 18-year-olds because they “always steal.”
According to Yahoo! 7 News, the sign on the store in Melton, which is west of the city, was put up Friday and read, “Because the 14-18 year old black always steal. Prohibit 14-18-year-old blacks and dogs into the shop [sic].”
Needless to say, the online backlash was swift and prompt, with many on social media calling the sign “disgusting” and saying that the shop owner was “racist,” the site notes.
Surveillance footage shows a group of teens going into the store and appearing to start stuffing things into their pockets. The store owner eventually comes from behind the counter holding a golf club in an attempt to intimidate the teens, it appears, but does not use it.
One youth can be heard saying, “Hit me, hit me,” even as the owner says, “I’m not hitting you, OK?”
The owner said that he has dealt with about 20 similar incidents in the past two years.
“[Shoplifting happens] a lot of times,” he told the news site. “Always black person … young boy, after playing soccer.”
The sign was eventually removed from the store window.