Albany police investigate suspicious damage to restaurant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany police investigate suspicious damage to restaurant

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August 15, 2007

Albany--Albany police are investigating a small suspicious fire that happened Wednesday morning.

The fire started around midnight outside the Wendy's restaurant located on the corner of Dawson Road and Slappey Boulevard.

An outside fire melted numerous crates underneath the restaurant's canopy.  Heat from the fire also cracked two of the restaurant's windows.

Management says it will cost about $2,000 each to replace them.

Employees here say they were able to put the fire out with extinguishers before the Albany Fire Department arrived on the scene.

Albany police arrived shortly after.

Restaurant workers say this store has had a history of vandalism, and although it hasn't been proven yet, they believe this fire is the latest incident.

Police did tell us this morning that they have documented previous cases of vandalism at the restaurant.

The Wendy's operation manager says it's been an ongoing problem for two years now.

"Probably about the beginning of the year, somebody through a cigarette butt out near the drive thru area, and it burned up my entire speaker system. Somebody also threw a beer bottled through that window, and I had to come up here and replace it that same night," says Wendy's operation manager, Linda Williams.

"Reporter: Does this scare you to know that this happened?  Yeah, It does because I'm here late. I'm here early. Now I've got to be cautious," says Wendy's manager, Kenesha Walton.

Employees say that the fire department believes the fire originated from the top of the canopy and a shortage in the wiring could be to blame.

Witnesses at the restaurant, however, say the fire started from the bottom of the store, and worked it's way up to the canopy.

Police plan to look at the store's surveillance tape for clues. There were four workers inside of the store at the time of the outside fire.

They were all in the back cleaning and didn't know there was a fire until someone driving by the restaurant called and notified them. Luckily, there were no injuries.

The Wendy's operation manager says vandals have also damaged employees' cars recently, including her own, at the restaurant.

If you have any information on any of these incidents, you're asked to call Albany Police at 431-2100.

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