Check your camera, crime is up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Check your camera, crime is up

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

October 21, 2008

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - The holidays are almost here. With the current economic problems, a lot of business owners worry about an increase in shoplifting.

Security cameras are more important than ever. In Thomas county an ordinance requires many stores to have surveillance equipment. Tuesday Sheriff's investigators checked out some of the local businesses.

So far they've made twelve stops checking out security cameras. They're making sure they exist, and that they're up to speed.

"All stores within the county that actually sell alcoholic beverages and that are open for more than 14 hours must have some type of surveillance video equipment in their stores," says Lt. Tim Watkins.

But Thomas County investigators point out that having a camera is just the first step. The positioning of the camera is everything. You want to make sure it has a clear view of the robber's face and not blocked by something like a cigarette rack.

This type of placement is ideal, even if the gunman is masked.

"With the video you're able to identify people not only because of their face, but the way they walk, their mannerisms," says Lt. Watkins.

And with crime on the rise, these cameras are key.

"We've noticed that the crime rate has increased a little, we're not sure if it s because of the holidays or the economy itself," says Lt. Watkins.

Whatever the reason investigators encourage all business owners to put safety first.

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