ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Some will blame it on the economy, but a rash of break ins at Albany convenience stores has many calling for the crimes to stop. It's hurting small businesses and in some cases, the customers who rely on the stores.
Saturday, police released a person of interest wanted for questioning in three break ins at the same south Albany store. We decided to take the issue to the streets and get people's reaction.
Ramello Isacc buys food and candy at Davis Grocery all the time. It's the only spot close to home.
"It's a tragedy to everybody because this is the closest store to anybody out here," said Isacc.
Police say 21-year-old Kamaris Henry is a person of interest wanted for questioning in three break-ins at Davis Grocery on the corner of Martin Luther King Junior drive and Grant place. Each time, the suspect broke in through the roof and stole lottery tickets, money, and cigarette cartons.
"They need to catch this guy because if they hit these stores, it's over," Isacc added. "We have nowhere to go."
The parking lot is empty and the door is locked to Davis Grocery. People say this is one of the few places to go in the neighborhood.
Another neighbor, who doesn't want to be identified, says he comes to Davis Grocery every Sunday to buy a paper. Not today.
"They're breaking into everything around here. Not only just this store. Everything."
That includes June Bugs Grocery a few blocks away on South Madison which was broken into twice in July. Security cameras didn't stop those thieves, but the owner has since installed new bars on the windows. When Davis Grocery isn't open, June Bugs is one of few options in this area. Shanta Savage is a store clerk at one south Albany convenience store.
"It's safe down there too in the daytime, it's just when they close, they break in," said Savage.
One thing's for sure, everyone hopes there's an end to these crimes before there are no stores to target.
"It's not going to be too long until all the stores are closed," said Isacc.
We tried contacting the owner of Davis Grocery. No word on why the store was open Saturday, but closed Sunday. Regular customers say it's usually open on weekends.
The suspect's last known address was 407 Faith Avenue in Albany. Anyone with information on Kamaris Henry's whereabouts, is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at (229) 436-TIPS.
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