ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Police warn the holidays may only bring more crime.
Traditionally crime increases between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there are concerns that criminals could be getting a jump on season.
About 8 p.m. Wednesday two armed robbers, wearing bandanas over their faces, rushed The Stop And Shop, robbing the owner and his clerk.
"The black male went into the store. The white male accosted the store owner outside," said Dougherty County Police Detective Tamiko Whitlock. "He was at his truck, took him back into the store."
The robbers took $500 in cash from the register and ran. The owner drove after them and spotted a white SUV.
"He saw a vehicle. He didn't necessarily see them get in the vehicle, but he did see a vehicle and he followed it for a while," said Whitlock.
This is the same store owner who chased an armed robber earlier this year, and was shot at several times.
Around 2 a.m. in West Dougherty County, someone broke a hole in the rear wall of the Grab-N-Go on Newton Road at Oakhaven Drive.
The alarm went off, but the owner disregarded it. The burglar broke into the bathroom and crawled into the office, managing to avoid the surveillance cameras.
The burglar took 50 cartons of Newport Cigarettes, worth more than $2,000.
There was no useful surveillance video of either crime, and detectives are urging store and business owners to make sure their cameras are working properly, and have enough to cover their entire store effectively.
"Crimes do heighten during this season," said Whitlock. "People are out trying, I would say, something for nothing. And if they see targets, they will attack."
Police are urging store owners to make themselves tough targets of crime, to keep the holiday season merry.
Police also urge merchants not to fight or chase armed crooks.
If you have any information about these two crimes, call CrimeSTOPPERS at 436-TIPS. You could earn a reward.