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Colorado Springs 7-Eleven stores play opera music to help deter loitering

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO)-- The next time you're at a gas station you might hear something unusual.

Some 7-Elevens and convenience stores are playing opera music to deter people experiencing homelessness from loitering. It's been happening all over the country for the past few years, including here in Colorado Springs.

An employee at the 7-Eleven on South Nevada and Cimarron told KRDO they use the music to deter people from hanging out near the front door. She's been working there for the past year and a half and said she thinks it helps.

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, they've been called to that location 219 times in the last year, 58 of those calls have been for trespassing.

A growing homeless population is an issue another 7-Eleven owner is affecting not only his business but the whole state.

"They start asking people for drinks and food and sandwiches and stuff. A lot of customers get frustrated, and they don't feel safe. A lot of people are like 'oh I don't want to come to this location anymore. I'd rather take my business somewhere else because I don't feel safe when I see a bunch of homeless people hanging out on the property," said Christoper Ellaz, a 7-Eleven owner.

Ellaz was attacked by someone he said was homeless while in his store off of I-25 and Uintah this week. He doesn't play classical music at his store right now but is looking for a solution.

"Yes definitely. I would consider anything to prevent people from loitering at my store or at any other location that would be helpful," said Ellaz.

Whether or not the music is helping, Ellaz believes more needs to be done.

"I think the mayor, city council, homeless outreach need to be more involved with cleaning up the city," said Ellaz.

KRDO did reach out to 7-Eleven to comment on their stores doing this, but we have yet to hear back.

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Jessica Gruenling


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