Albany business locks up after break-ins - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany business locks up after break-ins

August 28, 2007

Albany -- An Albany businessman is calling for more police on the city's streets. Sizemore Brothers Plumbing has been hit by burglars again, and it's a problem that seems to be out of control.

After being hit twice in one week, the owners are getting serious about locking out the thieves. Because of crime, James and Jackie Sizemore have had to make their Plumbing office a virtual fortress, starting with their front door.

A heavy bolt blocks The Sizemore Brothers Plumbing front door at night, but it also stays locked during the day.  President James Sizemore said "because we have so many strange people that come in and walk in and out of the compound."

The Sizemore's office was broken into August 19th, climbing through a window on a second floor, and money was stolen. The crooks tore out the phone lines and the burglar alarm. Two days later they believe the same thieves came back, kicked in burglar bars on another window, and took more equipment they did not get Sunday.

Several surrounding businesses were also broken into. Sizemore said "we got hit Sunday. Susie's Rugs got hit Monday night. They tried to get the one next door, Richter Roofing the same night. But evidently they were scared off, and the Police tell me it's rampant in the downtown area."

After the second break in Sizemore installed double sided key bolts on almost every door in his office, to try and stop thieves that break in. Now they have to use keys to go from room to room. Sizemore said "it's very inconvenient."

They put in more burglars bars, and got their alarm system updated. Sizemore said "we have beam detectors in the yard. We have motion detectors in the office. We have detectors on the doors. We just do everything we can to keep them out of the office."

Sizemore said they have done all they can to make their business a hard target, but he thinks more police officers patrolling the streets is needed to stop the rampant break ins plaguing the area. Sizemore said "I like downtown. I'm from Albany. We moved downtown, hopefully that Albany downtown would come back one day."

But the Sizemore brothers say crime is one issue hurting the revival of downtown for many business owners.  They say they worry if the burglaries continue, someone will be hurt when they confront the crooks.

The Sizemore Brothers say between the losses and the expense of fortifying their business, they're out about ten grand.

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