Crime frustrates Albany business owner - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Crime frustrates Albany business owner

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A South Albany businessman says he is frustrated by the lack of help from Albany Police. His shopping center has been hit by burglars four times recently, even though he's spent thousands of dollars trying to prevent crime at his building. The businessman says crime is hurting Albany's economic future.

Chad Warbington says when thieves busted a hole in the wall of his business Memorial Day weekend, breaking into his tenant's business, it was the fourth break in at the building in the last year.

Warbington said "It is, it's frustrating. As a business owner, you just feel you're here by yourself."

8 businesses are tenants in Warbington's building. Because of these burglaries, he has spent thousands installing iron burglar doors in the rear, and huge floodlights to light up the parking area. But he says he needs Albany Police to do their part.

Warbington said "The frustrating thing is after four to five instances we've had no leads, no suspects, no arrests. Nothing has been done."

Warbington has already lost two tenants. Affordable Insurance has been located there for 14 years, but is considering moving.

Affordable Insurance owner Alicia Smith said "This part of town, there is just crime. And they can just do what they want to do. It's like there is no law."

Warbington says it looks to him like crime is happening in all areas, and worries what that means for the city's future.

Warbington said "This is what drives businesses to leave Albany, unfortunately. A business may pick up and move from one side to the other. But the negative for the overall Albany situation is they may leave Albany altogether. And we lose their tax dollars, sales tax dollars."

Warbington said he feels like he is all alone trying to protect his property, and says he really needs Police to step up patrols and investigations.

Warbington says now he will install surveillance cameras and fences behind his building, but worries he may lose more tenants if he has to increase the rent to pay for the extra security.

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