Burglars cut through metal wall; devastates small business

Burglars cut through metal wall; devastates small business

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Ann Kelley says crooks have stolen nearly $10,000 worth of lawn equipment from her this year.

That includes $1,500 worth of items over the weekend. That was the third burglary at her business in two months.

Albany business owners tell us these repeated crimes are killing the community's economy, bankrupting small businesses or running them out of town.

Monday Ann Kelley found a gaping hole cut into the side of her metal equipment garage, and her blowers and cutters were missing. "You have work to do. You come in on Monday morning, and first thing you don't have any equipment to go to work with."

Kelley says six weeks ago crooks broke in and stole her commercial lawnmower and four saws. "I imagine it's close to ten thousand dollars' worth of stuff. I can't keep doing it."

After more than 15 years in her building, Kelley said these repeated burglaries are costing too much. "It means you are going to go out of business."

Ann Kelley says she loves her customers and the work she does, but crimes like these she says are killing her business, and she thinks it's also killing the growth and economic development across Albany that other small businesses need to survive.

"Oh, it costs so much. Because other businesses don't want to come here because of the crime. I hear that from people trying to hire people to come in. They can't find anybody that will come."

Kelley says for now she is just hanging on. She'll replace her stolen equipment, but says she will have to think about the future if the break-ins continue.

Albany Police announced this afternoon they will hold a business owners meeting October 1st to discuss crime prevention tips.

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