Police warn of new burglary method after Bookstore smash 'n' grab - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Police warn of new burglary method after Bookstore smash 'n' grab

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - When employees arrived for work Thursday morning at Books Etc. it was obvious burglars had paid the used bookstore on Gillionville Road an unwelcome visit overnight.

Thousands of tiny pieces of glass were on the ground just outside the store. Inside smash ‘n' grab thieves stole the cash drawer and money bag.

"We received a call in reference to a signal 9 which is a burglary. Once the officers arrived on scene they noticed that the front door window had been busted completely out," said Albany Police Sgt. Kanshishi Adams.

Officers dusted for prints the thieves may have left behind, but the break in at Books Etc. is not the first time city and county investigators have seen this type of crime.

Smash ‘n' grab burglars have hit a number of businesses this year. In January, crooks shattered a glass window at Affordable Dentures on North Westover and stole money.  Just blocks away in late April, burglars smashed the glass door at The Hour Glass on Dawson Road and made off with thousands of dollars in high end sunglasses. Exactly one month later at Jenny's Fashions, a sledge hammer was used to bust through the wall of the South Slappey clothing store.

Surveillance video inside Albany Deli and Foodmart captured a group of men stealing an ATM after throwing a cinder block through the store's window. That happened in July. This is the same month smash ‘n' grabs were reported at Pic N Sav on Oglethorpe and Harvey's on Radium Springs. 

Over the summer, wooden boards have temporarily covered many windows at local businesses including Hard Times Car Audio on South Westover and J. Durham and Associates on Dawson Road after crooks hit those businesses.

But in their latest investigation, police believe the thieves who struck early Thursday at Books Etc. didn't have smashing in mind - at least at first.

"We found a small hole which appeared to be a drill hole. It appeared that they tried to drill the back door open but were unsuccessful," said Sgt. Adams.

Smashing the glass proved effective and the crooks headed straight for the register. But it's the first method they used to break in that police want business owners to be on the lookout for.

"We want the business to help us out with their eyes and their ears. If they arrive on the scene before we do, they notice anything unusual, to inform us about that. So be on lookout for new methods of breaking in buildings."

Police are reviewing nearby surveillance cameras but do not have any suspects at this time. Investigators say several checks were inside the stolen money bag and ask local banks to be on the lookout for anyone attempting to cash them.

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