Police in Burlington have announced the arrest of an area convenience store owner whose business had reportedly become a haven for crimes ranging from shootings to violations of state liquor laws.
According to the city’s police department, 48-year-old Sameer Baidas of Eden was taken into custody on Monday – just two days after he voluntarily surrendered his liquor license following a routine state inspection of his business at 717 Rauhut Street.
Dubbed Sam’s Mini Mart, Baidas’ establishment was apparently on the police department’s radar prior to Saturday’s inspection by N.C. Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC). In fact, the department concedes that it had already started surveilling the site based on crime data and multiple anonymous tips about shootings, domestic violence, and other illegal activity in the vicinity.
It was nevertheless the quarterly visit from ABC that brought down the proverbial hammer on Sam’s Mini Mart. According to the city’s police department, the state-level agency found multiple liquor law violations that prompted Baidas to give up his license to sell alcohol.
Evidence gleaned during the inspection also prompted the arrest of Khalid Walid al Natoor, a 39-year-old Graham resident, who is accused of failure to superintend, consuming liquor on an unauthorized premises, carrying an illegally concealed weapon, felony cocaine possession, marijuana possession, and the possession of drug paraphernalia. Al Natoor has been placed under a $7,500 unsecured bond since his arrest.
According to the police department, Baidas’ own reckoning came two days later when the city’s police officers conducted a raid on the mini mart in collaboration with agents from N.C. Alcohol Enforcement. The officers and agents involved in this raid reportedly found evidence that Baidas was still selling alcohol despite the loss of his permit. They also retrieved six presumably illegal gaming machines from the business.
According to the police department, Baidas was subsequently charged with selling alcohol without a state permit and may face additional state gaming violations based on the evidence gathered during the raid.