Criminal activity has residents packing heat - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Criminal activity has residents packing heat

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Last year Ann Ethridge took a gun safety class, and now owns her own handgun. When she's traveling or working late at the office, she makes it a point to keep her gun close by.

" It doesn't matter where you are, you can be in the mall, you can be anywhere, crime happens all over," says Ann Ethridge.

She says the 2010 shooting of Walter Phelps, made her realize that crime can happen to anyone. Phelps was shot in the back during a robbery while working at P & P Garden and Hardware Center. Ethridge was close to the family. 

"It was on Slappey drive, which is a busy street. I can just remember everything that the family went through. He had been in that store location for years and never had a problem," she says.

At Draffin and Tucker, where she works, they've also had some criminal activity. She says one Christmas, a women stole some wreaths off the front door."

Employees say recently a man walked in their office and attempted to steal some things,  luckily they saw him in the parking lot through a window, and ended up only taking a six-pack of Dr.Pepper.

"I just happen to notice someone sort of running, and just knew something wasn't right."

 Her co-worker Ben Glass, who travels a lot, had his wife learn how to shoot.

"I think being comfortable and knowing how to use it can help and if she's home alone, I feel more comfortable being gone," says Ben Glass.

Ethridge says she learned a lot by taking a firearm safety class, where she fired a gun for the first time, and now feels protected, and more knowledgeable about firearms.

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