Convenience store signs stir controversy in Moore County

ABERDEEN, N.C.

One sign reads: "No hoodies. No helmets. No backpacks." It's a message to customers prominently displayed on the entrance to Mac's food store in Aberdeen forbidding patrons from wearing certain items inside.

"It's not really that big of a deal," said the manager of Mac's Food Store, Mary Lovely. "People come in and we understand in the winter it's cold, but when you come in we would prefer they take their hoodie off so we can see them."

Lovely put the sign up five months ago citing safety reasons, but not a specific incident.

"We've had a few incidents and that's the reason why we ask them to leave their backpack at the door," said Lovely.

Not too far away there's a similar warning to patrons outside the Quality Mart. It reads, "No hoodies allowed."

According to police, the decision to put up the sign is up to the individual business owner, but they don't come without controversy. Some accuse the stores of racial profiling.

Lovely says that's just not the case. She says it's about protecting her store, and customers seem to be understanding.

"I really think it's kind of silly because there's signs at other stores," said Lovely. "There's signs at banks and I don't know why it's really such a big deal."

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