Robbers don't need guns to get your stuff - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Robbers don't need guns to get your stuff

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Investigators in Dougherty and Lee County report an increase in robbery by snatching cases, especially in convenience stores. Over the weekend Crooks snatched cartons of cigarettes in front of startled clerks at stores in both counties. The thefts were caught on surveillance video. Investigators are asking for your help to bring the crooks to justice.

Crooks know if they use a gun to rob the store, they could spend decades in prison. But just grab something and run, the crooks might think it's no big deal. But police say it's still a robbery. A woman went into the Fast Lane at 3000 Sylvester Road just after 7:00 Sunday morning.

She asks for two cartons of Newport Cigarettes, and pulls out a credit card and starts swiping it while the clerk bags the cartons.

Dougherty County Police Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick said, "Does it kind of fast and the clerk noticed, it didn't read the card. The clerk had already bagged up the cigarettes and put them in the bag. She snatched the bag off the counter and quickly exited the store."

She just grabbed the cigarettes and runs. She got into a waiting blue Chrysler PT Cruiser and takes off with almost $100 worth of cigarettes. In Lee County at the Flash Foods on Highway 19 South, a man walks in at 10:15 Saturday night, and asks for two cartons of Newports.

Lee County Sheriff's Office Investigator Matt Pearce said "As soon as she bagged it up for him, he snatched the bag from her and left on foot from the Flash Foods." Police are not sure if these two robberies by snatching are connected, but Investigators from both counties know they are seeing more similar crimes.

 "Actually we have. In the last month or so we've had a couple of cases of shoplifting or robbery type cases. Where people are going into stores snatching items and leaving," Kirkpatrick said.

If the crooks use a gun to rob the store, they are looking at about ten additional years. Investigators think these crooks figure just running will be less serious if they are caught. 

 "Typically robbery by snatching is a crime of opportunity. But for somebody who is in the system, a criminal for life, they'll know that armed robbery carries a hefty fine. There are additional charges that go with armed robbery," Pearce said.

But robbery by snatching is still a robbery, and a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Investigators are asking you to look at these robbers, and help them identify and arrest them. If you recognize them, call CRIMESTOPPERS at 436-TIPS, and you could earn a reward.

District Attorney Greg Edwards says he hopes tough gun penalties are encouraging crooks not to use guns, but he insists his office will still ask tough for penalties against robbers who aren't armed. Many stores keep cigarettes locked up behind their counters.

Police suggest that clerks make sure customers pay for cigarettes before putting cartons on the counter.

 

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Security is top priority at Sunbelt Ag Expo

    Security is top priority at Sunbelt Ag Expo

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 2:39 PM EDT2017-10-17 18:39:02 GMT
    Security teams make sure everyone is safe at the expo (Source: WALB)Security teams make sure everyone is safe at the expo (Source: WALB)

    There's a familiar face that can be spotted patrolling the grounds of the Sunbelt Ag Expo every year.

    More >>

    There's a familiar face that can be spotted patrolling the grounds of the Sunbelt Ag Expo every year.

    More >>
  • Valdosta men plead guilty to stealing mail

    Valdosta men plead guilty to stealing mail

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 1:45 PM EDT2017-10-17 17:45:05 GMT

    Five Valdosta residents entered guilty pleas in Federal Court for stealing mail, altering checks and cashing them, to the tune of between $40,000 and $95,000 in 2016.

    More >>

    Five Valdosta residents entered guilty pleas in Federal Court for stealing mail, altering checks and cashing them, to the tune of between $40,000 and $95,000 in 2016.

    More >>
  • Partners in Excellence honored at Rise N Shine Breakfast

    Partners in Excellence honored at Rise N Shine Breakfast

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 1:40 PM EDT2017-10-17 17:40:29 GMT
    Several students sang for the business partners (Source: WALB)Several students sang for the business partners (Source: WALB)

    Dozens of area businesses were recognized Tuesday morning at the Partners in Excellence Rise N Shine Breakfast held at the Downtown Albany Hilton Garden Inn. 

    More >>

    Dozens of area businesses were recognized Tuesday morning at the Partners in Excellence Rise N Shine Breakfast held at the Downtown Albany Hilton Garden Inn. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly