Burglars hit businesses and churches - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Burglars hit businesses and churches

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Thieves broke windows to get inside and loot stores and houses of worship. Albany Police made one arrest, when the thief smashed a store window just one block from Police headquarters.

smash and grab burglaries seem to be more common in recent weeks, especially downtown. But one thief who struck too close to the Albany Police headquarters is behind bars.

Rainbow Music owner James Stephens said "This is a $300 brick." and laughs. The front door to Rainbow Music was smashed with that rock about 2:00 Monday morning. Owner James Stephens says it will cost $300 to replace. The thief ran inside and grabbed two bottles of cleaner and dominoes. 

"No cash. You said it, small business, struggling business. No cash. Nothing expensive whatsoever. I just don't understand it," Stephens said.

A patrolling officer spotted the broken door glass and caught 25-year-old Willie Green leaving.  "They got him. And I like that. That was very nice,"  Stephens said.

Employees are rebuilding the wood wall at the front of the O.K. Beauty and Fashion Store on South Slappey. About 4:00 AM they found the window smashed and a hole in the wall and the cash register and cash inside had been snatched.

The manager said the alarm company was coming today to improve their security system.

The alarm worked well at the RIver Road Church of Christ on Martin Luther King Junior Drive. Someone pushed in the window air conditioner in a Sunday school class, setting off the alarm. Another alarm sounded a few minutes later, scaring off the thief. 

 "From what we found, they tried to take a big screen TV we had in the lobby."  said Deacon Fran Mumphery.

Most of the air conditioners at the church have burglar bars around them. They hit the one that did not.  "It's real upsetting that someone would break into the Church. We think of the Church as a sacred place,"  Mumphrey said.

Another South Albany church, the Bethany Temple on Odom Avenue, was targeted Sunday morning about 5:00AM. An alarm sounded and Cedrick Burns was arrested inside the church, taking items from the kitchen.

Neighbors and church members tell us this was the fourth break in at the Bethany Temple in the last two months. They had a number of air conditioners stolen. They improved their alarm system, and caught the burglar this time.

Police are investigating Willie Green to see if he could be connected to other recent smash and grabs at downtown stores.

 

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