- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The owner of a Pittsburgh pizza restaurant says he shut its doors for good because of robberies, break-ins and vandalism.

Steve Negri was the owner of Mandy’s Place, which has served pizza in the city for more than 35 years. He bought it in 2001 but he and his wife closed it for good on Monday, citing crime and a lack of response from the city, which he said pushed customers away from his Observatory Hill location.

The shop was robbed at gunpoint twice in July in a span of eight days. No arrests were made. Eight of his 12 employees quit following the robberies, and Negri said takeout business fell significantly, particularly at night.

“They don’t feel safe,” he said of the employees. “We changed our business hours to close in the summer when the lights came on. What do you do know when daylight savings is in place? It gets dark at six o’clock,” Negri told KDKA-TV.

The Tribune-Review reports that in 2013, police counted 19 robberies in surrounding areas.

“It’s always been a problem, but (crime in the neighborhood has) only become progressively worse over the past four years,” Negri said.

Tim McNulty, spokesman for Mayor Bill Peduto, said the mayor has met with business owners, including Negri, and added police patrols to the area. Peduto also instructed his community affairs staff to work with neighborhood groups and has held a citywide meeting on public safety.

With Mandy’s closing, two employees will be moved to the Negris’ shop in West View. Negri said he will not open a business in Pittsburgh again.

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