7-Eleven blasts opera music to discourage panhandling

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A Jacksonville 7-Eleven is blasting classical music and opera music around its gas pumps in an effort to stop loitering and cut down on crime.

This music is part of an 7-Eleven that encourages non-confrontational methods to reduce loitering. It’s been under way for three weeks.

The store owner says that homeless people like to hang around the store. They bother customers and leave trash behind.

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According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office crime map, there have been a total of 27 incidents of thefts, burglaries, assaults, robberies and disturbing the peace within a 1,000 foot radius of the store in the past month.

Not everyone thinks it will accomplish anything.

“Do they think the music will drive them away like the birds? That’s what they think,” one customer said. “We’ll see. I don’t think it will work.”

Megan Young comes here to pump gas and says she is often confronted by panhandlers.

“Every time I come here I’m asked for money, so I would feel safer if it works,” Young said.

The corporate office at 7-Eleven sent us this statement: 

“We have received very positive feedback from our customers about the atmosphere created by the music devices piloted in several 7-Eleven stores across the U.S.”