Thefts and robberies on the rise in holidays - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thefts and robberies on the rise in holidays

December 17, 2003

Albany -- It's that time of year when thieves work the hardest. We're all targets, and as you're about to see, it only takes a moment to become a victim.

David Spencer parked his truck at a store at one of the busiest intersections in Albany but left his wallet on the seat. Spencer said "Gassed up, and went inside to pay for it. Came back out and my wallet was gone. I had gone all the way home before I realized it."

 Spencer had a good amount of money stolen from his wallet, as well as his driver's license and credit cards. Spencer said "I'll never see that money, anything that was in there. That's the trouble. It's more trouble getting back all your driver's license and stuff, that's your headache." Spencer said leaving his wallet on his seat was not unusual. "I just never figured I'd be a victim."

But lots of people are becoming crime victims like Spencer.Lt. James Williams of the Albany Police Department said "We are having some robberies occurring during the holidays, and that's normal."

 This is surveillance tape of two armed robbers who have hit several businesses in the last weeks. It's not just small theft, armed robberies also are up in this holiday season. Lt. Williams said "We ask the citizens if they see suspicious people hanging around store areas, call the Police Department."

 Police warn you to protect yourself. Stay alert and on your guard. Don't give criminals an easy opportunity to rob you, like David Spencer learned. Spencer said "Not anymore, I won't make that mistake."

No one has been arrested for stealing David Spencer's wallet, or for the armed robberies.

posted at 4:20 PM by jimw@walb.com