Criminal damage costs real money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Criminal damage costs real money

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Corporal Brian Covington of APD Corporal Brian Covington of APD
Cathy Taliaferro Cathy Taliaferro
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A frustrated store owner is forced to add bars to her business after someone threw a rock through the front door.  Crooks did a lot of damage at the Tienda Internacional Oasis but got away with only about two dollars.       

Police say that kind of crime is increasing in Albany and costing small business owners a lot of money. Store owners, like Cathy Taliaferro at the Pawn Shop, are adding camera, motion senses, and barring up windows to keep thieves away.

Taliaferro spends about $500 a month to keep burglars out. For Cathy Taliaferro, every night is another night to worry about break-ins.

  "And if the phone rings during the night, you're always jumping because you say, 'Oh Lord, what have they done now?' Because you know there's something you've got to fix."    

Summer is a busy time for smash and grabs like this one at the Pitt Stop in Dougherty County this week.   "Of course during the summer months there is more activity and unfortunately there has been a slight increase with the comparison to this time last year 55," said Corporal Brian Covington of APD.

Already this month, Albany Police have investigated 15 burglaries. The break-ins are forcing store owners to add security.  

Recent burglaries at the Albany Drive Thru Pawn off South Slappey have forced them to weld up their doors and add razor wire just to the roof just to hold back the thieves.   "Every time that they do something, you lock that down harder. And you always spend more money. There's more, more, and more money every time they make an attempt,"   said Covington.

The burglary unit at the APD is handling the cases, and they have a warning for thieves.   "Our burglary division is a very good unit. And they are highly proficient at what they do, and they're solvability rate is good."  

Burglars have tried to break into the drive thru pawn shop about two dozen times since they opened, but Taliaferro thinks her store is secure now.  

"Leave me alone, because there's so many backup systems here that you might as well go somewhere else," she said.

Corporal Covington reminds business owners that APD offers free surveys and advice on how to make your business a tough target for smash and grabs. Taliaferro says she will continue to add security to protect her store.

 

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