Business owners on guard for "inside job robberies" - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Business owners on guard for "inside job robberies"

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By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Some Albany business owners say they suspect many store robberies are inside jobs, set up by trusted employees.

Police say the Family Dollar store clerk who helped her brother rob the store signals a growing trend in crime.

Inside jobs are a new front on which police and employers must now fight criminals.  Albany business owners say times are tough, and people are desperate.

They worry that more employees may be tempted to steal or even rob them, and what really scares them is the violence being seen.

B. J Fletcher, who owns or manages three restaurants in Albany, says she was not surprised when Police arrested Jamaica Harris Jones, the clerk taken hostage at the Family Dollar last week, for being the inside person in the armed robbery of her employer.

Fletcher said "No, No. You say it when you see anything get robbed. When you hear a robbery now you say it was an inside job."

Albany Police agree, and say business owners have to beware that their own employees or friends could give in to temptation if given an opportunity.

Detective Eddie Jones said "A lot of times people want to think it's strangers doing things, or someone off the street doing it, that they don't know. But a lot of times the people that you know, that know the fine workings or the inside or interior of your business may be the ones actually setting it up."

Fletcher has managed or owned restaurants for 30 years. And with 80 employees now, she holds meetings to remind them she is watching them. With robberies getting more violent, she has added more security cameras inside and out Ole Times Country Buffet, and several of her employees carry guns,

The threat of violence in Albany, is it that bad? Fletcher said "Yes. Yes, it's that bad."

Fletcher said neighboring business owners have also tightened security, but she says they mostly trust their own employees, but are still aware that tough times can make people desperate.

Fletcher said "I'm going to trust them until they prove otherwise, and then I'm going to get them."

Fletcher said one of the most important things business owners can do is never get in a pattern with money, so no one knows when it's unguarded or being taken to the bank.

Albany Police agree that you can never be one hundred percent sure the employees you are hiring are honest. They say business owners should put in every security measure they can, especially surveillance video cameras, so that employees know they are being watched.

Background checks aren't always reliable.

The Family Dollar clerk had previously been arrested for credit card fraud, but a jury found her not guilty on most of the charges and she never went to prison.


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