Operation Street Sweeper underway - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Operation Street Sweeper underway

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

October 30, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany Police fanned out to convenience stores all over town to help make businesses more crime proof.

They're passing out information and arming store clerks with knowledge to help them become less of a target to criminals.

Albany Police say the operation includes the entire police force not just the robbery and homicide division. Officers started handing out information on the west side, but say they'll make their way around to every business who's open in the evening.

It was Halloween night when Margaret Mills at the Shell Station on Old Dawson Road had a gun thrust in her face by two would be robbers.

"It just through me for a loop so I had to do what they said and so they got money, lottery tickets, and the change, the extra change," she said.

She survived the attack. Thursday Police visited her store and others across town giving clerks and owners a list of safety tips.

"My name is Eddie Jones, and like I said we are riding around trying to make contact with as many businesses as possible."

Police are encouraging store owners to take down posters and signs that prevent officers from being able to see inside stores. They also encourage store owners to better position cameras inside the stores on customers instead of clerks.

"It maybe even good to put up a sign and let them know they're being recorded coming in and out that way it may deter some people as well," Jones said.

Officers encouraging businesses to make more frequent deposits, taking big bills and a good bit of the register's receipts to the bank every few hours. As police make more patrols clerks like Margaret Mills say it's the thieves who should be nervous.

"I love having them in the parking lot. I know they can't do that all the time, but I think it's good," said Mills.

Good that they're stepping up their presence on the streets and good that this operation might move thieves from the street to the jail.

Albany Police say the operation includes the entire police force not just the robbery and homicide division.

Officers started handing out information on the west side but say they'll make their way around to every business who's open in the evening.

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