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EDISON RESCUES DISTRESSED BUSINESS FROM ARMED ROBBERS

 ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Edison business retention specialists go out of their way to save businesses in Southern California -- even from robbers.
 Art Johnson, owner of Johnson's Market in Rosamond, was talking to Edison's Tim Breen Thursday afternoon about ways to make Johnson's store more energy-efficient to compete with the chain supermarket down the street. Suddenly Johnson broke in: "Gotta go. There's a robbery going down (in my store)."
 Breen mentioned this to Fred Francia, a nearby Edison business retention project manager. Francia speculated that maybe Johnson's people wouldn't be able to call the police. Breen went to work and soon found himself talking with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Bob Daniels. Within four minutes, two California Highway Patrol units and three County Sheriff's vehicles descended on Johnson's store. It turned out that no robbery occurred, but a van had pulled up to the store and its occupants had emerged wearing ski masks. The officers soon were scouring the area for the suspects' vehicle. (As of 4 p.m. Thursday, however, there had been no arrests). Daniels said, however, the Sheriff's Department was grateful for Breen's timely call.
 Johnson's call to Edison was among 830 calls that have come into Edison's 800-3EDISON hotline number for businesses that need help with competitiveness issues. About 300 of these calls have resulted in business retention, expansion or recruitment leads.
 -0- 3/11/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Hansen of Southern California Edison, 818-302-2255/


CO: Southern California Edison ST: California IN: UTI SU:

BP -- LA020 -- 5332 03/11/93 19:35 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 11, 1993
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