ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Glass-shattering criminals hit businesses on a busy Albany street again. Early this morning someone broke the front door at Dixie Theatre Supply on North Slappey and stole some merchandise.
Two blocks away, someone shattered plate glass windows at Mattress World for the fourth time.
Linda Appleman said it was a rude wake up call at 3:00 this morning, when Police spotted her Dixie Theatre Supply front door shattered.
"It looks like it was a burglary. Was not sure at first, but it does look like it was a burglary," Appleman said.
One camera was stolen from the store, which has been in the same building for 64 years. She says crime has rarely been a problem for them, but she says all the business owners in the neighborhood are aware of recent vandalism and break ins.
"You can easily these plate glass windows that are so attractive to hit, can be upwards of $500 to $1000, depending on the size of them," Appleman said.
Two blocks away, Mattress World had more front windows shattered by rocks. "The fourth time. This is the fourth time in four weeks I've been hit," said Mattress World manager Erik Phillips.
Phillips has boarded up one of the huge front windows to his store, and has other holes covered. He says he really doesn't want to spend the hundreds or thousands of dollars to have the windows replaced, just to have them damaged again. He has put in an alarm system and increased security, but the vandalism continues.
"I'm not giving up. Even if I have to board them, I'm not going away. They can try what they want, but I'll be here," Phillips said.
Appleman and Phillips both are asking the vandals and burglars to give them a break, because times are really hard on small businesses.
"It's a pretty cruel thing to do to a business. If you are not doing it because you hate us, please stop. If you are doing it because you hate us, please call and talk," Appleman said.
Other business owners in the neighborhood are keeping watch, and worried they could be next.
Albany Police Chief John Proctor said that "Officers have been directed to increase visibility near the businesses in that area of Slappey. We also encourage businesses to make sure that they have an alarm system in place as a crime prevention measure."
And the business owners are asking people driving by to help them as well, after all this is one of the busiest roads in Albany. If you see anyone throwing rocks or breaking the windows, the business owners ask you to report it to 911.