Albany leaders worry crime could hurt economic growth - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany leaders worry crime could hurt economic growth

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - An Albany city commissioner worries car and business break-ins will hurt economic development.  

Albany Police say they're doing several operations to cut down on those crimes. 
   
These crimes happen nearly every day. City leaders and police say it's a crime issue that hurts the community's image and could hurt its future.A thief smashed the front glass at the Peking House restaurant early Wednesday, grabbed about $100  from the cash register and ran.  Just one of the three business burglaries reported that night to Albany Police.  City Commissioner Jon Howard worries these repeated crimes might turn away investors. 

Howard said "They think twice before they come back to Albany to locate a business."

People waking up to find their car windows smashed and belongings stolen is another big crime issue.  Albany Police say they are running special operations to crack down.

Albany Police Deputy Chief Mark Scott said "We've had details on in plain clothes.  We've had undercover units out. We've had uniformed officers in unmarked cars. We've been focusing a lot on the areas that we know we have problems, trying to catch the people doing those crimes."

Gang Unit officers say these crimes are not gang related.

 Albany Police Gang Unit Corporal Prurince Dice said "We haven't had any indication that it's connected to a specific gang or a specific group."

Police say even though the business burglaries are prominent, the number of them has decreased.

Scott said "We've actually seen a downturn in our business burglaries and residential burglaries, but larcenies, which are thefts from cars and thefts from people's property have gone up."

City Commissioner Howard said he knows the community is concerned by crime.

Howard said "It doesn't sit well with me. And it certainly doesn't sit well with other elected officials and business leaders in the community."

Crimes that leaders in Albany want to make sure don't slow economic growth.

Albany Police will continue operations targeting these thieves.  They ask the community to help, by taking valuables out of your car when you park, even in your own driveway. And to report suspicious persons near closed businesses.

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